More Import Export Business Lessons
I run a small wine export company in New Zealand and I am looking into exporting wine to Mali in Africa at the moment.
Contact is made, terms agreed on and now my customer says that I would need to open an non-residential account with his bank to enable him to transfer funds into my account in New Zealand. This sounds wrong to me and I have never been asked to do such a thing in the past. According to my customer this is an anti fraud measure introduced by the Malian government.
Could you please advise me whether or not this is true. Your help would be very much appreciated.
I would suggest that you do a search in google for Mali + Fraud and/or Mali + scam - Mali appears to be yet another African cesspool of fraudulent activity.
My first suggestion is - Find a buyer not in a 3rd world country
One of the key factors that fraudsters play on their marks is the desperation of or greed for the completion of a sale or to get money.
How many things could go wrong with this?? You deposit funds to open an account, your client "supposedly" puts their funds into your account. If the bank is a legit one, how do you know your buyer does not have a friend working in the bank? How do you get your funds back?? The Mali bank is under NO obligations like your NZ banks have to their customers.
How many different ways does this have to sound like a scam before you simply deem it NOT worth the trouble?
Please do yourself a favor and read some of the listings google will give you on the suggested searches above - these people have honed the art of scam.
Is the sale really worth all the hassle if it is legit? Talk to a freight forwarder in NZ that deals with Mali and see if they have heard of this 'new' requirement. But bottom line, is it all worth it?? Cant' you find a buyer
elsewhere in a non- 3rd world country.
Have you done due diligence on your buyer, or the so-called bank you would need to deal with??
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My advice goes back to my first suggestion - WALK AWAY.