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Thursday, June 13, 2024

PM urges five ministries to handle suspected cashew scam in Italy

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered five ministries to take swift action to cope with a suspected scam involving nearly 100 cashew nut containers shipped from Vietnam to Italy.

The Government Office sent a telegram announcing PM Chinh’s order to the ministers of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Public Security, and Transport and the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam.

Given that many local exporters of cashew nuts are reportedly at risk of losing hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in the suspected scam, PM Chinh asked the ministries to coordinate with the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS) and the relevant units. He asked them to clarify the issue to take further action and ensure the legitimate interests of the local people and exporters, in line with the prevailing regulations at home and abroad.

They were also told to report any obstacles to the prime minister at the earliest.

Earlier, some Vietnamese firms signed contracts with some customers in Italy through a Vietnamese broker to export nearly 100 containers of cashew nuts to Italy. Some cashew nut batches have been shipped to Italy, while others are on the way.

However, the exporters have been having trouble with their dossiers sent to Turkey’s banks. Accordingly, the SWIFT codes were changed. When the buyers’ banks received the documents from Vietnamese exporters, they argued that the Vietnamese firms were not their customers and returned the documents, but did not provide the bill of lading numbers to Vietnamese banks.

As for the documents sent to Italian banks, they were copies, not original ones.

Specifically, five exporters lost track of 36 cashew nut containers, equivalent to 36 sets of original documents. The value of the lost containers is over US$7 million, or VND162 billion.

The losing of original documents by banks and exporters could lead to a complete loss of the containers.

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