Russian wheat cargo in
* SGS says probed Russian wheat cargo had false document
* Importer Egyptian Traders Co says document definitely valid
PARIS/CAIRO, June 11 (Reuters) - Cargo inspector SGS
<SGSN.VX> said on Thursday a falsified SGS quality certificate
had been used on a Russian wheat shipment imported by Egyptian
Traders Co, while the importer said the document was definitely
"We know that on this cargo a false SGS certificate has been
used," Jean-Luc de Buman, Senior Vice President, Corporate
Communications and Investor Relations, told Reuters by phone.
He said his firm had not inspected the cargo, seized last
that has led to intense scrutiny and disruption of
grain exports to one of the world's largest wheat buyers.
The chairman of Egyptian Traders Co said the documents used
for the Russian wheat shipment it imported were "definitely"
valid and said the case was becoming "too political".
Responding to comments concerning the use of forged
documents from others involved in the deal, Chairman and Chief
Executive Ashraf El Attal told Reuters: "I know nothing about
Asked if he was certain of the validity of documents for the
wheat shipment now to be re-exported, he replied: "Definitely."
"Everyone is saying whatever they want now, so let everyone
talk," he said. "This is becoming too political, we are not the
target ... But we are being squashed in the middle."
take advantage of lower freight costs, relying heavily on local
grains importers like Egyptian Traders to supply
wheat, rather than using larger international suppliers.
SGS, which is the world's leading company in inspection,
verification, testing and certification services, said it had
not inspected the probed cargo, on a ship called Theoforos.
"What we know is that we did not inspect the cargo we are
talking about, so if there is a (SGS) certificate for it, it is
a false one," de Buman said from the SGS <SGSN.VX> headquarters
Earlier on Thursday, Hesham Ragab, legal adviser to
trade and industry minister, said in a statement emailed to
Reuters: "There is an investigation underway into whether or not
the documents pertaining to the wheat shipment in question were
all accurate or if there was any forgery involved.
El Attal, who is also president of the international Grain
and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), an organisation with offices
into forged import papers made no sense since the cargo was
The Egyptian prosecutor ordered the investigation in May
following the discovery of dead bugs and impurities in the more
than 50,000 tonne shipment.
Traders after the prosecutor ordered the re-export of the
shipment and told the firm to repay $9.6 million to
state wheat buyer, GASC. [ID:nL7200129]
won a large proportion of GASC tenders in the past year.
The Russian Grain Union has called seizures of Russian wheat
provocative and an attempt to lower prices.
Russian grain firm Rosinteragroservis (RIAS), the company
that sold and shipped the wheat to Egyptian Traders Co, said the
original documents of the cargo had been issued by Control Union
"But apparently there are other certificates circulating for
that vessel now," Geneva-based commercial director of RIAS,
Chris Vanhonacker, told Reuters.