PM orders ministries to urgently resolve case of cashew nut scam

The Government Office has sent a telegram No.1583/CD-VPCP to the ministers of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Public Security, Transport, and the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) conveying the direction of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on exporting cashew nuts to the European market.

PM Pham Minh Chinh ordered the above ministers to coordinate urgently with the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS), other relevant agencies, and units to check and clarify the reasons to take measures to handle and support following their competence, ensure the legitimate interests of farmers and enterprises in accordance with the provisions of domestic and international laws, promptly report to the PM any difficulties and problems beyond their authority.

According to information from the VINACAS, many domestic cashew enterprises are at risk of losing nearly 100 containers of cashew nuts, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, exporting to Europe. Businesses doubt it may be a massive fraud as they all sign contracts through brokerage Kim Hanh Viet One Member Company to export cashew nuts to Italy.

It raised concerns when the goods had arrived in Italy, several exporters had since reported that changes were made to the SWIFT code sent from Vietnamese banks to those allegedly representing importers based in Turkey. However, several Turkish banks said the buyers were not their clients and said they had sent back the original documents, but neither specified how they had sent them back nor provided Vietnamese banks with the bills of lading.

At the same time, Italian banks informed they received copies instead of original papers. Currently, Vietnamese enterprises have lost track of the original documents. Meanwhile, anyone with the original papers can go to the carriers to pick up the goods.

The VINACAS has been calling for the support and intervention of competent authorities and shipping lines, asking shipping lines to apply emergency measures, temporarily keeping the consignments that have arrived and will arrive at ports.