36 containers of cashew nuts were sold through broker. This company owned by a woman named Hanh (Vietnamese, American) has ten years of operation without any incidents.

The case that Vietnamese enterprises recently lost control of 36 original sets of documents out of 100 containers exported to Italy is under investigation. The Government Office has just issued the Official Dispatch No. 1583/CD-VPCP conveying the direction of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to solve the issue urgently.

Selling 100 containers of cashew nuts through brokers, enterprises call for help due to being suspected of cheating

On the evening of March 8, the Employee’s information said that the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) had sent an express document to the Vietnamese Embassy and the Vietnam Trade Office in Italy asking for support in the “emergency” situation.

Specifically, some enterprises export cashew nuts to Italy through a brokerage company in Vietnam with an amount of nearly 100 containers worth hundreds of millions of USD but have not received payment and are at risk of losing goods.

All enterprises face the same situation of constantly changing SWIFT – bank identification number.

cashew nut in Vietnam

(Cashew exporters call for help due to being at risk of losing many containers)

At the bank of Turkey, after the bank received the set of documents, they informed that the buyer was not their customer. The bank had returned the documents but did not specify the form of payment as well as provide the bill of lading number to the Vietnamese bank.

The documents were sent to the bank in Italy, then the local bank informed that the copies were not originals. Vietnamese enterprises currently do not know where the originals are. Meanwhile, anyone that has the original set of documents can go to the carrier to get the goods.

Facing that situation, Vinacas asked the Vietnamese Embassy, and the Vietnam Trade Office in Italy to work with the competent authorities and shipping lines in Italy. This is to request the shipping lines to apply temporary ‘urgent’ measures for retaining the goods that are at the port and will arrive at the port.

Has the brokerage company had no incident yet?

Previously, according to the content of the petition for the help of five cashew kernel exporting and processing enterprises, they had signed a contract with some Italian customers through Kim Hanh Viet Brokerage Company to export cashew kernels to Italy and Turkey.

Kim Hanh Viet Brokerage Company owned by a woman named Hanh (Vietnamese, American) has more than ten years of operation without any incidents. Therefore, there is no reason for the warning and it is difficult to forecast or not work with this person.

However, after the incident, some enterprises made an application with the content that Kim Hanh Viet showed signs of fraud. But, this is just a suspicion with no basis for confirmation.

Vinacas officially announced that only 36 containers lost control

On the afternoon of March 9, Vinacas held a press conference on the case that many cashew nut containers exported abroad are at risk of being lost due to missing original documents.

At the press conference, Mr. Bach Khanh Nhut, Permanent Vice President of the Vietnam Cashew Association, said that according to the initial plan, about 100 containers of cashew kernel will be exported to Italy and Turkey. In the process of implementation, enterprises discovered signs of cheating, so they promptly prevented the containers that had not departed yet.

“Thanks to this, the number of containers that lost control is exactly 36, not nearly 100 as some information previously posted. In particular, two containers were exported to Turkey while the rest were exported to Italy,” said Mr. Nhut.

According to Mr. Nhut, enterprises are at very high risk of losing 36 containers and consider it an “urgent situation”.

From this serious case, Vinacas urgently and respectfully requested the Prime Minister to direct the relevant Ministries and Sectors and Interpol Vietnam to work closely to support enterprises for the purpose: Retain the goods located at the port and will arrive at the port, do not release the goods to the consignees even if they present the original bill of lading. At the same time, Vietnamese enterprises should be allowed to receive their goods back.

 (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a diplomatic note to Italian ministries and relevant sectors, requesting to quickly clarify the case and take measures to protect the rights and interests of Vietnamese enterprises)

The first series was retained at the port by the decision of the Italian financial police

To continue handling the case of 100 containers of cashew nuts exported to Italy, on March 10, the Vietnam Trade Office delegation in Italy worked with the honorary consul of Vietnam in Naples and many agencies in the south of this country such as Naples port, military police, tax services as well as banks and DHL (express delivery service) – the main transit points of 36 sets of original documents that Vietnamese enterprises lost control of.

The signs of fraud become clearer when there are banks that receive sets of documents that are just copies or blank papers sent to people who do not have an account at that bank.

On the Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Italy Nguyen Duc Thanh said: “Up to now, we have information, for example, some people signed and implemented these contracts. Among them, one person in this photo is in Naples. This person took a set of documents of Vietnamese enterprise and boasted that he got the original documents, and  would pay five or ten days later after he was allowed to take the goods.”

According to Counselor Nguyen Duc Thanh, currently, there are only 36 sets of documents lost that Vietnamese companies have not received back yet. Out of the original 100 sets of documents, the companies retained more than 50 sets and reclaimed many more sets that DHL sent back to Vietnam.

(Trade Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy worked with the Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Naples)

The most important thing is that the first four containers arriving at Genoa port were retained by the decision of the Italian financial police. This is thanks to timely information from enterprises involved in the case, the participation of lawyers, and the support of the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office in Italy, the Honorary Consul in Naples. The entire Italian port system has been alerted to this incident.

“The lawyers will work with the Italian authorities on how to return goods to Vietnam or allow Vietnam to sell to other Italian enterprises or other countries. We will have to make great efforts to help the goods be returned to Vietnam. In case of containers on their way to Italy cannot be returned, we must solve them as soon as they arrive at the ports to avoid related losses if the goods are stuck in Italy for a long time, ” the Counselor said.

The Prime Minister urgently directed the suspicion of fraud in the history of  Vietnam’s cashew industry

Based on the information about this case in many online newspapers, the Government Office has just issued an Official Dispatch No. 1583 /CD-VPCP to five ministries including Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Public Security, Transport and State Bank to convey the direction of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on exporting cashew to the European market.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh assigned the above ministries, according to their functions and tasks, to urgently coordinate with Vinacas and relevant agencies and units to check and clarify the causes.

From there, they need to take measures to handle and support according to their competence, to ensure the legal right of people and enterprises under national and international laws. Besides, they also need to promptly report difficulties beyond their authority to the Prime Minister.