Case 92188AT

Case 77455GX

Case 89455XH

Case 12976AE

Case 92188AT

Two Chinese tyre manufacturers had established business with two Italian wholesalers.
The two wholesalers used to place small orders and to pay the goods according to agreed terms of payment.
Suddenly, both the Italian wholesalers placed an order for a huge amount of tyres demanding however a term of payment of 60 days after the receipt of the original document.

Chinese suppliers, due to the consolidated business with the wholesalers, decided to deliver the goods accepting also the payment term.
However, once the goods arrived at their destination and were picked up, both the wholesalers disappeared and became completely unreachable.
International Advisers had been entrusted with the collection in both cases.

All attempts to contact debtors were not successful at all: telephone numbers were not active and there was no reaction to our Italian lawyers’ letters.

In this context, IA noticed some similarities between the two cases: the wholesalers were active in the same business sector, they were both located in Rome, their way of making business was pretty similar and they had many financial and legal problems. Moreover, the most surprisingly thing was that Mr. G.A. was respectively CEO and sole shareholder of both the indebted companies.

International Advisers informed its clients and continued its investigation deciding to treat this two cases as one. Then, IA decided to pay a visit to the registered office of debtors but in both cases there was no trace of them.

After only a few days from IA’s visits to the debtors’ premises, debtor’s companies entered into voluntary liquidation and surprisingly, the appointed liquidator in both the cases was again Mr. G.A.

IA decided then to investigate more deeply about Mr. G.A., eventually finding out that Mr. G.A. was a criminal with many problems with justice and who was even convicted for murder ten years before. From the investigation results and other data collected by IA, it became soon clear how the whole case was set up and the client was put in a position to decide better about the next steps towards the debtor.

Case 77455GX

In the years between 2010 and 2013, gangs with members belonging to the gypsy community were active in committing fraud, theft and other criminal acts.

The operational modus of these gangs had the following structure:

Members of the gang, all well dressed and well mannered, were visiting trade shows around the world, where they were approaching companies and were presenting themselves as very wealthy and well established company owners. In order to support their stories, they were creating good looking corporate websites, business cards etc., all with fake information.

After they gained some trust by the victim-companies, they started placing large orders, often up in the millions of USD and agreed D/P arrangements (cash against documents).

The suppliers, trusting that the orders were placed by actual companies, were shipping the goods to the scammers. In addition they were sending the accompanying documents per courier to the bank, which the gang members were appointing as the bank they were usually doing business with.

As soon as the documents were arriving either at the bank, either at the local courier agency, members of the gang, who had sometimes infiltrated in the personnel of the bank or bribed bank employees or bribed courier employees, were opening carefully the envelopes containing the shipment documents and were replacing the originals with copies. Then, with the original documents in their hands, they were collecting the containers with the goods, which had arrived at the harbor and were disappearing leaving everyone in despair.

As soon as some of the cases got assigned to International Advisers, it became quickly clear what was going on.

International Advisers uncovered the fraud, by analyzing all procedures and by questioning various stakeholders like the shippers, the custom authorities, the bank and courier company directors etc.

Additionally, IA field-agents visited the various locations where the gangs were operating and soon discovered common patrons and other clues, which all together pointed at the gypsy gang.

With all the collected data, International Advisers went to the country’s authorities providing them with the investigation map containing a.o. the links between the gang members, photographs, names, contact details etc. The large-scale police action which soon followed resulted in not less than 70 arrests and 30 convictions of gang members.

At the same time, goods with a value in the millions of USD were spared from falling into the hands of these bandits.

Case 89455 XH

A Dutch manufacturer of hotel and catering supplies regularly furnished products to an Italian wholesaler. The two firms had a solid relationship dating back many years. Suddenly invoices stopped being paid. Faxes written in English had no effect and neither phone calls to Italy did. The secretary told the same story again and again: “Sorry, ‘Il Padrone” is not in and cannot be reached”.

International Advisers got engaged with explicit instructions to collect the outstanding amount but at the same time keep the relationship between the two companies in tact. IA informed its Italian representative, a lawyer in Alessandria, about the state of affairs. International Advisers approached the “absent” director with a letter in Italian via an Italian contact, stating that it would like to hear his side of the story. This open invitation had an effect. The director did respond – by mail – and made an appointment with the lawyer.

The story unfolded: The Italian hotel and catering industry depended primarily on American tourists. But, because of the fear of terrorism at that time, American tourists stayed away. The hotel and catering industry were therefore facing acute problems and there was no money for new supplies. “For my business”, explained the director, “that means large stocks and almost no cash,” He explained further that he had debts with two other suppliers.

International Advisers informed its client and suggested approaching the two other creditors in order to arrive at a joint payment arrangement. This was achieved surprisingly quickly and at the end payments were made every month on schedule!

Conclusion: The Italian customer has paid all his debts. The Dutch supplier has received all his money. The good relationship has been restored and is continuing.

In short: local knowledge of the national market, mastery of the language, and an understanding of the background were key factors in succeeding collecting the money. And that was a double victory: money from past business and money from future business!

Case 12976AE

A European cattle-dealer sold young pigs from time to time to an abattoir in Southern Spain. Prior to slaughtering, the pigs were fattened by local farmers. The cattle-dealer heard nasty rumors, just after shipping a large load of pigs, that his Spanish customer was almost bankrupt.

International Advisers got involved in the situation and was given urgent instructions to take immediate action.

And that is precisely what has happened. The Spanish lawyer who works for International Advisers received instructions the very same day. The abattoir’s lawyer was approached immediately. This quickly resulted in a sensible agreement. The farmers continued to fatten the pigs. However, the bill for this was then met by the Dutch cattle-dealer rather than the abattoir. The effect was that once they had been fattened, the pigs were sold to another abattoir … and the cattle-dealer received his money after all.

This was a clever (and above all, timely) solution because three weeks after the lawyers’ talks, the abattoir went into bankruptcy.

In short: fast action and the right contacts on location can prevent large losses.