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Fraud in Nigerian Crude Oil Selling: Authenticating The Crude Allocation and Documents by Oil Buyers
HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THE ALLOCATION OR DOCUMENTS OR DOCUMENTS OF A NIGERIAN CRUDE OIL SELLER ARE AUTHENTIC OR AUTHENTIC?
Observations from a research report on this issue, conducted by Africans in America News Watch, a New York-based non-profit organization, in August 2010, summarizes the problem:
“There are many sellers of genuine crude oil in Nigeria but the problem is getting authentic and verifiable. Trading Crude Oil is a thriving and thriving business and many people seem to want to get into it. Buyers from other countries contact sellers in Nigeria on to buy Oil Nigerian Raw. [But the business is now full of]… scammers on the loose.” He added that “There are many sellers of crude oil in Nigeria, but the challenge is being able to find genuine and verifiable sellers.”
In fact, as this author has extensively documented elsewhere in other research, the assertion that in today’s mysterious world of international crude oil buying and selling the landscape is utterly littered and infested with scammers and fraudsters, is now a well-established, resolved truth with neither of which can hardly be a serious argument or dispute in the contemporary international oil trading industry.
Consequently, given the stark REALITY that “there are many sellers of genuine crude oil in Nigeria but the problem is getting genuine and verifiable,” the big multi-million dollar question is this: AS A CRUDE BUYER, HOW DO YOU GET SUCH SELLER FROM ALL THE MANY WHO WILL “REAL AND VERIFIABLE”?
KEY? Most experts, in the case of Nigeria, say that basically you (the raw buyer) have to sue and press the Seller who claims to show you the ORIGINAL documentation and other proof of having the original BLCO and FLCO allocation from the Nigerian NNPC, as well as proof that the product is still available when this. (For Nigeria, NNPC, which stands for Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, is the Federal government-owned company that manages the buying and selling of petroleum, including appropriating the original sellers of crude oil in Nigeria).
KEY DOCUMENTS IN THE NIGERIAN CRUDE OIL BUYING/SELLING INDUSTRY
There are several key documents which are very important in the purchase transaction of Nigerian crude oil. They will include the following documents, among others:
– Seller’s shipping documents, such as: Clean Ocean Bill of Lading; Seller’s Commercial Invoice
– Proof of Seller’s Product (will consist of Export License & Export Approval, issued by the government of the country, Product Availability statement, Port Storage Agreement, etc.)
– SGS/Sayboat Quantity and Quality Certificate issued at loading port
– Certificate of Origin issued by NNPC
– Certificate of Authenticity issued by NNPC
– Ship charter agreement on the ship, issued to the lessee and allegedly shows that the ship is actually chartered on behalf of the appointed seller
– questionnaire Q88, completed by the ship manager providing relevant information and ship specifications;
Perhaps the most important document of all that a raw buyer may need to see from a seller, is a proper Proof of Product (POP). This document, which must be issued by the appropriate NNPC department in Abuja, Nigeria, serves as a clear indication to the buyer of crude oil that the owner of the oil commodity actually owns the product, and also serves as an indication that, at least at the time of the transaction ( but only then), the seller has the commodity available for sale.
IMPORTANT: It shouldn’t be POP only. It must be in a format that allows satisfactory verification to ensure that it is valid and authentic. Based on this author’s research, to ensure optimal likelihood that this goal can be achieved, there are basically two types of POP documents that are acceptable, and nothing else, and only sellers whose POP documents meet those “preferred” POP document standards, who to be entertained or noticed.
POP MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS.
A). It must have a document of a LOADED vessel that is CURRENT (i.e. cannot be more than 2 days, otherwise the document will be rejected immediately as it may mean the ship is no longer available), and must include the following documents:
I. Current Authority for the Council (ATB). The seller must provide, for inspection of the buyer, the ATB specifically issued to the original purchaser (recipient) of the crude oil on behalf of the vessel issued. The name on the ATB must exactly match the name on the POP and other documents mentioned here. And, here again, the ATB MUST BE CURRENT – that is, it cannot be more than 2 days old. (An ATB that is more than 2 days old, should automatically be deemed to represent a vessel that is no longer available and therefore inadmissible).
ii. Quality certificate.
I, I, I. Origin certificate
iv. Cargo manifest
v. Ship ullage report
vi. Quantity certificate.
vi. Payload list
viii. ATS (Authority to Sell) from NNPC
B) GIVE SPECIAL SHIP.
In general, the Buyer may request (and therefore the Seller must be willing and prepared to release it), a description of the vessel as follows: vessel name, vessel location, IMO name, call sign and other vessel details. This is necessary so that the buyer can track the loaded vessel, and to ensure its current availability.
C) PROVIDE THIS DOCUMENT, ALSO, FROM NNPC
Just as POPs are required by reputable buyer facilitation providers such as Reliable Dealings International from any AWR seller before they can begin doing business with them, other things that may be frequently requested from sellers, will include the following:
= Lifting Lease/License from NNPC, and
= Letter of Authority to Sell (ATS) from NNPC. A Power of Attorney to Sell, also called a Letter of Allocation, which usually comes from the NNPC Crude Oil Marketing Department, is basically an official document that shows the buyer that the seller actually has the authority from an official government agency for the crude oil. the product he sells. (Must normally be in paper format and on NNPC company letterhead; must contain date of issue and expiration date, and be signed. Scanned copies of documents are permitted. All documents must be certified, valid, original and verifiable.)
= If, for example, the seller claims that the cargo has been cleared, then he or she can usually provide details of the ship’s CPA (Charter Party Agreement), ATL (Authority To Load), and Q88.
OK, BUT HOW DO YOU GUARANTEE THAT THESE DOCUMENTS ARE GENUINE?
Well, let’s say you have collected proper Proof of Product and other important documents as outlined above. There is one key, in critical respect, question that still remains for you – how do you ensure that the documents you get from this seller are good? That they are real, valid, GENUINE and AUTHENTIC to guarantee you take the Seller’s offer seriously?
This question is, perhaps, often the most critical for buyers because, as a rule, most of the scammers and scammers operating in the Nigerian crude oil industry, are simply counterfeiters and copiers of every bit of legitimate industry documents used. in sell and buy operations by refineries and government agencies, and are highly skilled at that craft. Therefore, buyers take great care never to take for granted or be deceived by, any documents presented by sellers or claims made by them, however convincing or seem real!. And what all that means, is that one important facility that the buyer of crude oil and their acolytes should immediately develop and have, is some good tool or skill, anti-fool, by which they can VERIFY the authenticity of at least the key independently, document the most important of the many documents that are often shown by sellers and their agents when selling their products. And, above all, they must have the skills and knowledge and business sophistication to be able to detect which documents are genuine and legitimate, and which may be forgeries.
To be sure, carrying out such verification and confirmation is often an obstacle for a buyer. However, it is not a difficult task, at least for the educated and experienced eye. You just need to know what and what to look for, the right questions to ask, and how to counter check and cross check facts and information. And, however, whenever there is serious doubt about the authenticity of a document, you should always exercise caution – requesting more evidence, or even declining an offer, depending on the particular facts at issue in an offer.
FOR FOLLOW UP
YOU WANT FOLLOW UP HOW CAN YOU ENSURE THAT ALLOCATIONS OR DOCUMENTS OR DOCUMENTS OF A NIGERIAN CRUDE OIL SELLER ARE GENUINE OR AUTHENTIC?
Please see instructional information in the author’s resource box below
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