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Boer Bean Dispute Causes $446,000 Damage to Nacala Port

Boer Bean Dispute Causes $446,000 Damage to Nacala Port

The stoppage of activities at the Mozambican port of Nacala, in the north of the country, following the dispute between RGL and the ETG conglomerate, has caused losses of almost half a million dollars, an official source told Lusa.

“For the port, there were direct implications in the order of 446,000 dollars (410,000 euros), in terms of revenue not collected because of the stoppages,” said Naimo Induna, director of the Port of Nacala, in an interview with Lusa.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

At issue is a precautionary measure brought by ETG in the face of a lawsuit that has been dragging on for months, filed by RGL, which accuses the conglomerate of having denounced its activity in India, an accusation that the PGR has since declared unproven.

In October, the Judicial Court of Nampula Province granted RGL an order to seize ETG’s assets, including real estate and ships, and froze its bank accounts, applying a guarantee of more than 3,871 million meticais (55.8 million euros).

This amount was secured with the seizure of cargo, namely pigeon peas produced in Mozambique and which ETG intended to export – just as RGL does – with the conglomerate accusing RGL in recent days of appropriating the cargo and intending to send it precisely to India.

According to the director of the Port of Nacala, the enquiry notice from the Nampula Maritime Court was submitted at a time when the containers were already on the ship bound for India, forcing the port to unload a total of 620 containers, although 450 were involved.

“The stoppages really arose in this context, because first there was a need to understand the contexts and realise who was going to cover the costs [which in this case will be the claimant]. There was also a need to rework all the plans. This all meant stoppages and inefficient working days,” said Naimo Induna.

This morning, at least 23 containers were inspected again and at least one bag of beans with the ETG logo was found.

“We can’t assume that the product is from one party or another right now. The process will enlighten us because in addition to the inspection there are other means of proof, such as documents (…). The ETG bag found is not enough to clarify things because we also found bags from other entities, which shows that they could be bags used by producers. (…) At the right time we will take a stand,” the presiding judge at the Nampula Maritime Court, Boliz Júlio, told the media in Nacala moments after the inspection.

While the case is being assessed, the authorities’ concern about this dispute, which has been going on since last year, is linked to the image of the Port of Nacala, warned the director of customs in Nacala.

“This situation has an impact on the normal functioning of customs. We are afraid that the shipping lines will give up using the Port of Nacala. If they do, this will have an impact on the number of ships using the port, which will have an impact on revenue. (…) It should be remembered that the port was recently rehabilitated,” João Saltiel told the media.

The volume of cargo handled at the Port of Nacala, the heart of the Mozambican province of Nampula, reached a record figure in 2023, rising from 2.7 million tonnes in 2022 to 3.1 million tonnes last year, following the rehabilitation and modernisation of the infrastructure.

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The Mozambican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) considered the amount of the bond set by the local Public Prosecutor’s Office in the dispute to be “absurd and astronomical” and ordered it to be shelved.

In an order dated 15 January, signed by deputy attorney general Amabelia Chuquela, from the Specialised Department for the Criminal Area, it was decided to “annul the decisions of the Public Prosecutor’s Office” of Nacala-Porto in the preparatory investigation of this case, which has been opposing the two groups for several months and which conditions the export of bóer beans and other agricultural products from that port town in the north of the country to India (which buys all the national production of those beans).

In the same order, to which Lusa had access today, the PGR decides to “order the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the competent jurisdiction to revoke the defendants’ coercion measure” and “order the investigation to be closed” due to “the absence of a crime”, in a case that has been highly publicised internationally in recent months.

Lusa previously reported that the leader of ETG, Maheshkumar Raojibhai Patel, even appealed to Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, in a letter dated 26 December, to intervene in the “pigeonpea saga”, in which he claimed to be the victim of expropriation of cargo and goods by competitor Royal Group Limitada (RGL).

Lusa

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