On 25th July 1991, a Bulgarian buyer paid US$3.8 million for 13,100 tonnes of Brazilian sugar by letter of credit. The payment was released by international banks on the basis of the usual documents which proved that the sugar was loaded on 17th July in the port of Santos on the m/v Giovanna bound for Varna, Bulgaria. Neither the ship nor the sugar existed and the criminals have never been brought to justice.
In August 1992 a Paris bank released US$2.89 million under a letter of credit on the basis of documents stating that 10,000 tonnes of white refined sugar had been loaded on the m/v Vladimir Ilyich in Panama, bound for Kalingrad, Russia. The documents were forgeries and the money has never been recovered.