otkaznik (otkaznik) wrote,

Скандал однако

Russian wheat cargo in Egypt had false document-SGS


* 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

month after Egypt's prosecutor ordered a quality investigation,

that has led to intense scrutiny and disruption of Russia's

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."

Egypt had turned increasingly to Russian wheat this year to

take advantage of lower freight costs, relying heavily on local

grains importers like Egyptian Traders to supply Black Sea

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

in Geneva.


Earlier on Thursday, Hesham Ragab, legal adviser to Egypt's

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

in London, Geneva, Beijing and Kiev, said the Egyptian probe

into forged import papers made no sense since the cargo was

being re-exported.

The Egyptian prosecutor ordered the investigation in May

following the discovery of dead bugs and impurities in the more

than 50,000 tonne shipment.

Egypt has suspended all grain contracts with Egyptian

Traders after the prosecutor ordered the re-export of the

shipment and told the firm to repay $9.6 million to Egypt's main

state wheat buyer, GASC. [ID:nL7200129]

Egypt has bought almost a quarter of the wheat exported by

Russia in the current marketing year, and Egyptian Traders has

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

in Russia, as agreed with the buyer.

"But apparently there are other certificates circulating for

that vessel now," Geneva-based commercial director of RIAS,

Chris Vanhonacker, told Reuters.


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