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Ghanaian community-China warns the business entity

Source: Ghanaian community-China

The Ghanaian Community in China wishes to inform and admonish traders who ply their businesses in China. This caution was necessitated by numerous complaints and frauds our office has received over the years. In view of this, the community has chosen to sensitize and educate the business community on five key areas to help curb such unfortunate incidents.

1. Transferring huge sums of monies to factories and trading companies in China :

Currently, our outfit is dealing with an issue involving Two Hundred Thousand Dollars (200,000usd) which ended up in an unknown bank account in Hong Kong. A businessman (name withheld) transferred this money to a trading company in China but due to devilish activities of hackers the money went into a different company’s account mistakenly. What the fraudsters do is that, they always hack into business people mails and replace bank accounts information with theirs. Our checks show that they have corroborators in the banks and can easily access or retrieve such monies in no time.

It is therefore imperative to cross-check bank account address with the factories before making such transfers. Our office advise that as soon as you get the invoice you must contact the factory to ascertain the authenticity of their bank address before authorizing your bankers to make such transfers.

2. Placing orders through the internet Internet has made it possible to transact business all over the world irrespective of your locality provided you can access it. The question is does all these factories and trading companies exist? And even if they do, how do we check their capacity and credibility? A trader called on our office that she has transferred money to a factory for an order, all charges paid but for the past four months she has not received the bill of lading. She flew to China, followed up to the factory only to be told that it has been declared bankruptcy and therefore stopped operation more than a year.

Other complaints which always come to our office are the quality of goods importers received in Ghana. The question is, does China only produce inferior goods? The answer is no because it is a known fact that ‘almighty “America also import from China and they are satisfied with the products. Our checks reveal that importers in Ghana do not engage the services of quality control companies or even Ghanaian Agents in China to examine the product quality before shipment is done. Another factor is that, importers are interested in the prices rather the quality and therefore offer unrealistic prices expecting quality products.

3. Contracting unknown middlemen or agents to act on your behalf Engaging the services of middlemen or agents to supervise the production of goods in China is very essential since most the factories cannot be trusted to deliver quality products. Nevertheless, in doing so importers must check the background of these middlemen/agents to ensure that they have a good track record before assigning them to such duties. A credible agent will ensure that the goods are checked, tested and balance paid for onward shipment. Importers must respect the services of these agents and pay them to boost their morale to carry out these duties creditably.

4. Boarding cars from airport to your intended hotels or homes Coming to China for the first time can be a challenging and the most disagreeable experience if care is not taken. Statistics in China shows that about 150million people live under the POVERTY line therefore survival the fitters. Chinese has a saying that, to quote in our local dialect “ 3ne hoho ennya nyonkoa nenso sisi no”. At the airport, there are charlatans who claim to be taxi drivers and may lure you to use their cars to your intended destination. What happens is that, while on the highway a gang may rob you of your valuable items and throw you out of the car. The good “Samaritan” ones will drive you to hotels and knowing well that it is your maiden trip shall charge exorbitant fare in dollars.

Our advice is that, get someone who lives in China to meet you or if you have the hotel address engage the service of government cab at the terminal. Most of the commercial drivers do not speak any language except Chinese (mandarin) and even having the hotel address in English characters is a problem. It is advisable to change 50usd into Chinese yuan at the airport and purchase SIM card, call the hotel whiles in the cab to be directed to the hotel.

5. Handling of passports and monies while in China. Last year our office received more than 50 cases involving lost of passports and monies mounting up to 80,000usd. For instance, a mobile phone dealer at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra was followed up by three young Chinese ladies till they took away from his bag Fifty One Thousand Dollars (51,000usd). He felt that someone has taken something from his bag and he quickly turned back, lo and behold, he saw these three ladies running helter shelter. He managed to apprehend one of them but unfortunately the two with the money escaped. She was dragged to a nearby police station but she refused to talk for four days and later the police detected that she had taken seed and was left off the hook. Cecilia Asante of Kumasi Central Market boarded a mini van from Guangzhou International Airport with her brother to a hotel upon their arrival. They knew their way out of Guangzhou city but on reaching the hotel where they normally lodge, they were told there is no room for them. The driver took them to another hotel and when they alighted to find out if there is a room for them, the driver took advantage of their absence, hid her bag containing fifteen thousand dollars (15,000usd), passports and receipts of her previous trip. Later they found a hotel but she could not find her small bag after the driver had left the scene. A complaint was lodged at a police station but the two could not provide any information about the driver. Three days later, the driver used one of the addresses on the receipts in her bag and posted the passport to popular clothes market called CANAAN and that was the end of it. There are a lot instances whereby traders had lost their capital in Guangzhou City due to negligence but just to mention a few.

Ghanaian Community has no other way to deal with such miscreants but to advise traders to be extra vigilant anytime they come on business trip especially during the CANTON FAIR.

For further information or enquiries contact ; ghcommunity@yahoo.com/ 0086-13422286614/13710174014