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Fake or false trade and transport documents feature in the majority of modern maritime frauds and are the greatest menace facing the international trading community.
Financial institutions, traders, insurance companies, shipping agents and other intermediaries all rely on transport documents such as Bills of Lading, Seaway Bills, Airway Bills, CMR and FCR when making decisions. A document that appears genuine can induce a bank to pay for goods or finance a trade. It can prompt an insurance company to grant cover on a ship or shipment, or indemnify a fraudulent claimant. It may lead a shipping agent to release a cargo to someone that is not entitled to it.
It is important to remember that any document can be forged. In the maritime industry, fake documents mostly copy the style of a legitimate trader and it can be difficult for a non-experienced eye to spot the difference.
With many years experience and a sound knowledge of what to look for, our Information Department has a large number of resources at its disposal that can swiftly confirm the authenticity of transport documents. We make a number of independent checks with the parties named on documents and others, and these quickly indicate whether there is a cause for concern. We will then flag this up to our member and make further enquiries to determine exactly what is wrong and, more importantly, who is responsible.
Our tried and trusted system has proved invaluable on many occasions and is one of the best ways to verify the performance of the underlying transaction.