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ICC Commercial Crime Services
A division of the International Chamber of Commerce

IMB combats growing problem of global cargo theft.

London, 20 July 2000 - ICC's International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is planning to extend its crime prevention services to combat the growing problem of global cargo theft.

With an estimated $30 to $50 billion now being lost annually through cargo crime, IMB believes companies can best avoid losses by taking preventative security measures.

Already members can log on to IMB databases to check out companies and individuals with whom they intend to do business, and take advice from IMB experts on safest routes for cargo transport. In the next few months, the bureau plans to make its services more easily and widely accessible.

" We are aiming to sign an agreement with a major freight forwarders association which would allow their members, including even the smallest operators, to contact us and make use of our databases at an affordable cost, " said IMB investigator John Saunders.

As world trade has increased, the problem of cargo theft has grown in parallel. Much of the problem occurs in Europe, and in particular, in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

" Countries where there has been dramatic economic and political changes, such as Russia, do not have experience in dealing with this kind of crime.

Neither do they have the human resources available to handle it, " Mr Saunders said. " Companies who want to move goods around this geographical area should use our services to reduce their vulnerability, " he added.

Much large scale cargo theft is the result of inside information, and buyers are often lined up in advance. Theft frequently occurs when a cargo is being moved by road, for example while a container truck is parked in a vulnerable location.

To combat the crime, shipping insurance companies recommend the regular overhauling and auditing of security systems, including proper physical security at terminals and depots, using information technology, vetting document procedures and performing industry or financial checks on new or unknown customers.

Note: bold blue italic accentuation by NAVATECH

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