UK shipbroker victim of Dubai fraud

UK shipbroker victim of Dubai fraud

UK-headquartered shipbroker Century Marine Services has been the victim of a fraud by a Dubai-based firm calling itself Matin Marine Services.

Despite having no business relationship with Century Marine Services, Matin Marine Services has been passing itself off as connected with Century Marine Services by hacking the company’s website. The Dubai police authorities have been informed.

“We were alerted to the fraud today by a call from a trader who had reportedly sold a consignment of frozen fish to Matin and who was unpaid,” Century Marine Services managing director Steve Dougal said yesterday.

Matin Marine Services appears to have replicated Century Marine’s website and presented itself as having been founded by Steve Dougal.

Dougal warned any company being approached by Matin Marine Services to act with the greatest of care and to advise Century Marine Services.

“If this can happen to a niche British shipbroking company, it can happen to any business,” he said.

Century Marine is engaged in the sale and purchase and valuation of tugs, barges, offshore and other specialist vessels. The company was formed in 2001 and has offices in the UK and Dubai.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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