Fraudulent invoicing for alleged pollution clean up work


Published: 28 July 2014

The situation

The Association has learned that fraudsters have sought to obtain payment for alleged services provided with respect to alleged pollution matters and clean-up work.

Furthermore, the Association understands that the Port of Fujairah has warned against possible fake invoicing for waste disposal. Members can find out more at the Port of Fujairah website and its Notice No. 182.

In any such situation, the attempt is often combined with threats against the member / named vessel. Such threats may involve supposed legal action, threats of arrest or "black-listing".

The fraudsters rely on the concern over such consequences to convince the victim to pay the demanded sum.

Loss prevention advice

The Association has previously warned of such fake invoicing frauds in its detailed "Guide to fraud in the maritime industry", particularly under the "Port related frauds" section.

Key loss prevention steps include:

  1. ensure billing departments do not simply process invoices without verification
  2. "red flag" invoices include:
    a. non-standard invoices
    b. non-regular invoice items
    c. unknown supplier companies or personnel
    d. aggressive approach by the supplier
  3. such "red flag" invoices should be checked with the operations department to ensure they do relate to valid supplies of services made to the vessel
  4. where there is any doubt, a phone call should be made to establish further contact with the alleged supplier (fraudsters will sometimes pretend to be acting on behalf of legitimate companies)
  5. in case it is not possible to verify the invoice or the supplier, further investigation should be conducted by the management and legal department

In case of doubt or concern, members can contact the Association for further assistance.

Special advice for pollution incidents

In any event where a pollution incident is alleged, members should urgently contact the Association.

Irrespective of the situation, pollution matters must always be treated as a priority and the Association will treat the matter as a casualty situation and activate the emergency response plan.

Further reading

The Association has previously advised in detail on maritime fraud issues and members should refer to the fraud section for further materials.

Members are particularly encouraged to read the detailed guide on maritime fraud in the introduction section.