UK court orders arrest of Nicaraguans for non-payment of ADM rice
* More than 6,500 tonnes of rice in dispute
* Court imposes jail terms of up to 18 months
By David Brough
LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - London's High Court has issued an arrest order against the owner and a senior officer of a Nicaraguan grains business for failing to pay millions of dollars owed to commodities house Archer Daniels Midland for rice imports, ADM and court papers said.
The case highlights a trend in which falling commodity prices have led to an increase in requests through courts for worldwide asset-freezing orders against companies that have not met the terms of their sales contracts.
Some lawyers in London say applying for such orders from the English High Court has become more common as commodities companies, among others, use this mechanism as a key weapon in a creditor's armoury against defaulting counterparties.
A dozen worldwide freezing order and contempt cases have been heard by the London High Court over the last couple of years, these lawyers say.
In the ADM case, over 6,500 metric tonnes of U.S.-origin rice was shipped to the importer, Corcosa - Corporacion Comercializadora de Granos Basicos, in 2011 and 2012, under six sale contracts in dispute.
Each of those contracts is governed by English law and subject to arbitration by London-based GAFTA - the Grain and Feed Trade Association. Continuación...