Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Another Shipping Cartel Scandal as Freight Forwarding Executives Arrested in Antitrust Move

It Seems the Desire to Cheat is Endemic in the Air Cargo and Ocean Supply Chain
Shipping News Feature
US – In yet another set of cartel accusations to hit the shipping industry, the US Department of Justice has announced the arrest of two executives in Miami on charges of conspiring with competitors to fix prices for international freight forwarding services. A criminal complaint was unsealed last week in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Roberto Dip, owner and CEO of Dip Shipping, and Jason Handal, the company's Sales Manager. At a detention hearing before a magistrate judge in Florida on July 3, Dip was ordered detained pending trial, and Handal was released on conditions including a $500,000 personal surety bond.

According to the criminal complaint, Dip and Handal participated in a conspiracy among freight forwarding companies from at least as early as March 2014 until at least March 2015. In the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the conspirators met at several locations in Honduras and the United States.

At these meetings it is said the conspirators discussed and agreed to raise prices charged to US customers, to be implemented by establishing ‘commissions’ in port cities throughout the United States to coordinate and agree on the specific rates charged to customers in each port. According to the affidavit, this conduct is memorialised in emails and other documents. Emails allegedly show that Dip and Handal were aware that their conduct was in violation of US antitrust laws and that they instructed co-conspirators to avoid leaving written evidence of their conduct (how bright were these guys? Ed.)

Charges contained in a criminal complaint are merely allegations that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone who doubts that the industry suffers from more than its fair share of those willing to ignore the law just has to go to the Search facility and use the keyword cartel.