Two years ago, stories of fake tungsten-filled gold coins and bars began to spread; it appears, between the shortage of physical gold (after Asian central bank buying) and the increase in smuggling (courtesy of India’s controls among others) that gold fraud is back on the rise. As SCMP reports, a mainland China businessman, Zhao Jingjun, discovered that HK$270 million of 998kg of gold bars he bought in Ghana had been swapped for non-precious metal bars. What is perhaps even more worrisome, given the probe into commodity-financing deals and the rehypothecation evaporation; these gold bars were shipped to a Chinese warehouse before Zhao was able to confirm the fraud.
As South China Morning Post reports, police were last night making arrangements with a mainland businessman to check whether HK$270 million of gold bullion he bought in Africa was genuine after part of the consignment was swapped with metal bars.
On Wednesday, Zhao Jingjun, 43, opened part of his shipment in front of his buyer in Hong Kong and discovered the gold had been switched for worthless metal.
A senior officer said it would be the city’s biggest heist in a decade if it was confirmed that all the gold had been stolen.