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Indonesian Exporters Warned of Import-Export Scams from the Middle East


on, Jakarta – The Ministry of Commerce calls on Indonesian exporters to be more careful in dealing with unknown foreign partners from the Middle East. This is because there are currently many fraudulent practices under the guise of cross-country imports and exports.

“To avoid loss of export goods, exporters must be careful when conducting transactions with unknown trading partners, especially from the Middle East,” said Heny Rusmiyati, Head of the Indonesia Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Dubai in a written press statement on Saturday (9/2).

ITPC has received reports from several Indonesian exporters who are victims of fraud under the guise of demand for goods exports to Middle Eastern countries.

The mode of fraud is that the perpetrator will pretend to be a buyer ordering goods from Indonesian exporters to be sent to a country in the Middle East. The offender deliberately made the exporter enthusiastic about the request because the perpetrator did not bid the price requested by the Indonesian exporter.

The perpetrator then offers an unusual payment option, namely the crimimal promises to make 100 percent payments when the goods are released from the destination port and after the goods are opened together by the seller and the buyer.

A few days before the goods arrive at the destination country, the perpetrator will invite Indonesian exporters to come to the destination country to jointly open the goods. In the sales contract, the crook promised to provide facilities such as lodging, meals and transportation during the visit.

After the victim arrives at the destination country, the felon will welcome and facilitate the victim to be escorted to a luxury hotel. Then the perpetrator will influence the victim to provide a shipping document, such as a bill of loading (B/L), to him under the pretext, the document is needed to withdraw goods from the port.

After the victim gives the original shipping document, the perpetrator assures the victim to relax and stay in the hotel for several days while waiting for the goods to arrive. But when the day arrived, the perpetrators could no longer be contacted.

The promised payment that will occur after the item arrives and is checked together is only a hoax. While the goods sent by exporters are taken away by the perpetrators by changing the name and shipping address in the B/L document to their fence.

Therefore, to avoid a similar incident, ITPC asked Indonesian exporters to carry out the following steps:

First, confirm the legality of prospective trading partners. Prospective buyers must have official legality. If there are doubts, exporters can ask the ITPC or representatives of the Indonesian government in Middle Eastern countries to verify.

Second, use sales contracts to bind both parties to fulfill their rights and obligations as well as the basis for efforts to resolve problems and disputes.

Third, using a payment system that is common and safe for export and import activities. For example, by using letter of credit (L/C) or by bank transfer. Don’t hesitate to ask for an advance if needed.

Finally, safeguard export documents and do not provide these documents to buyers if their obligations have not been fulfilled. “By doing these things, transactions with prospective buyers will be more secure and exporters will avoid fraud whose methods continue to develop,” Heny said.

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