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    Insurance investigations (Maritime claims)

    Four stories:

    3 containers containing microwaves which were on their way from Marseille, France to Israel arrived with half of the goods missing. The investigation that we conducted in France revealed that one of the truck drivers that drove the containers took a detour ,stopped at an undisclosed location long enough for the thieves to take out one of the bolts of the container door that allows opening the container without leaving a trace. The detour was discovered by checking the tachograph disks of all the trucks which hauled the containers.

    A court in Egypt demanded that documents proving that the receiver paid $200,000 for goods shipped on our client’s vessel be presented to him. In the investigation that was conducted in France, we managed to locate the customer (not a simple task – the company that he opened was long closed. The company’s location was in Paris and her manager, only his name was known to us, was located at Nancy, hundreds of kilometers from Paris). The former manager told us that he does not have the required documents and referred us to Citibank, Paris. It seems that the branch where the company’s bank account was handled was closed and the documents were transferred to another branch at the new “Arc de Triomphe”. At first, the clerk there refused to let us talk with the manager. Only when we made it clear that her refusal will incur a law suit personally against the manager and the bank, were we allowed to see the manager. After our discussion with the manager, he promised us to forward any documents that he has on the case and as soon as possible. And so it was: we received all the documents “gift wrapped”, the documents were presented at court in Alexandria, Egypt ,and we saved our client $200,000.

    On July 2008, one of the biggest Maritime companies asked us to investigate why almost all containers containing perfumery products, are arriving to their destination from Europe to South America, with large shortages. The route of the vessels were either from France of Belgium ports, via Kingstone Jamaica, to the island of Margarita in Venezuela. At the beginning our client provided us with information of 7 containers which arrived with big shortages of goods.

    During the investigation the number grew up to 10 containers and the value of the missing products, was rising over $1,000,000.

    We started our inquiry in Europe, and very soon came to a conclusion, that the shortage didn’t take place in Europe.

    We went to Kingstone, Jamaica and after a profound investigation came to the same conclusion as in Europe: the damage didn’t happen here.

    From Kingstone, we went to the island of Margarita, a Caribien island which belongs to Venezuela.

    Since the whole island is considered as a “Duty Free Zone”, being a favorite resort for people, not only from Venezuela, the quantity of perfumery all of them are using, makes it attractive for fraud activity.

    The result of our investigation was that the importer, with the cooperation of his local representative, it responsible to the so called “missing goods”, which actually were not missing at all.

    As a result of our investigation, the lawsuits of more than $1,000,000 dollars, costed our principal about 50,000 dollars only!

    When you consider also the all around expenses, the money our client saved, was $1,500,000!

    The last case we took care so far, happened at the end of 2009:

    An owner of a company, who turned out to be a company that was founded only for fraud purposes, and he himself was in the so-called professional jargon a “Monkey” – a man who has no property or assets on his name, so that even if he will be caught, nothing could be taken away from him, ordered two 40′ containers from Poland with a load of fish liver (a favorite dish of immigrants from the former USSR).

    The value of the goods were 120,000 Euros, 24,000 Euros, were paid as down payment, as well as customs duties which were paid in cash. The above company manager came to the office of “Zim” at the Ashdod port, and released the goods with fake B/L’s, looking as original B/L’s.

    After a message from the supplier that he was not paid for the cargo, it became clear that those were indeed fake documents and here we entered into the picture: we were asked to conduct an investigation to reduce as much as possible the damage to the client.

    It was clear that there was no point in searching for the company, that finding won’t advance us in any way.

    So we focused on tracing the goods, whole or in part, to be able to confiscate it and thus reduce the damage to Zim as much as possible.

    We managed to locate two places where the goods were provided and immediately passed the information to Zim.

    “Zim” through its security department, went to the police and told them where the goods were.

    One of the sites, has foreclosed (the value was about 25,000 Euros).

    For some reason, delayed execution of the second site, until the police got there, there was only a small amount of merchandise.

    Afterwards they went to the legal field:

    The discussions were held in Kiryat Gat Magistrate Court.

    On 15.02.2010 Honorable Justice Alon Infeld get a decision in cases No. 2293-09 and 2283-09 in favor of our client.

    Mr. Amir Cohen Dor, the attorney for Zim, thanked to all parties who were involved at that operation, and mentioned the CEO of our office, Mr. Meir Naveh who got a “good word” from the court.

    Actually, it was more than a word:

    Honorable Justice wrote in his decision: “Zim’s complaint filed on the basis of an investigation conducted by a private investigator on its behalf. That investigation revealed that the cargo arrived to the port of Ashdod and was released by presenting fake Bills of Lading (B/L). The police inquiry was based almost entirely on the P.I’s report and later on, based upon that information, a considerable quantity of the cargo was confiscated at the buyers”.

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