One Ton Gold Shipment Into Hong Kong Revealed To Contain Just Worthless Metal

Tyler Durden's picture

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.


An initial inquiry showed Zhao purchased 998kg of gold bars from a company in Ghana in mid-April, police said.


The consignment, in 14 cases, was escorted by his staff and delivered from Ghana on a chartered flight late last month.


"Officers were told that his employee confirmed the cases contained the gold before it was loaded onto the chartered flight in Ghana," a police source said.


The source said the employee left Hong Kong after the consignment was handed to the staff of a logistics company at Chek Lap Kok airport. It was then couriered to a Tsuen Wan warehouse.


The businessman arrived from Hebei province on Monday and checked into the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. On Wednesday, he had five of the cases couriered to his buyer's Hung Hom office.


"When he opened the boxes, he found they were filled with metal bars instead of gold bullion," the source said. "He told officers the cases appeared to have been tampered with."




A police investigator said: "We don't rule out the possibility that the gold bullion may have been switched for metal bars before being delivered to Hong Kong."


Zhao has reportedly made several such transactions. His business activities include the purchase of iron ore from Australia, Africa and South America.


Four years ago, 265 gold bars were taken from a Yuen Long company. Police arrested three men and recovered most of the HK$90 million in bullion stolen.

We can't help but feel this is not the last time as commodity-backed financings are unwound en masse and the underlying collateral found missing... sourcing the underlying by any means will be on the rise.

*  *  *

For those who want to learn more about China and gold, please read "How China Imported A Record $70 Billion In Physical Gold Without Sending The Price Of Gold Soaring"

For those curious what a fake 10oz bar looks like, here it is again:


It appears in thise case, the fraudsters could not even afford Tungsten (or maybe the Tungsten was rehypothecated elsewhere)...

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DoChenRollingBearing's picture



Someone please advise our Zero Hedge community immediately if/when they ever find 1 oz fake Gold Eagles...

idea_hamster's picture

Maybe that's where all the copper and aluminum went!


@DoChenRollingBearing:  It's not a US coin, but you should see this, since it's a 1/10 oz -- I would have thought it would not pay to rip off a small-denom:

rehypothecator's picture

When buying large quantities of gold, I always go to Africa where the low prices are practically a steal. 

SoberOne's picture

Even more barbarous than the real stuff!

idea_hamster's picture



I make that typo too.  ;-)

Winston Churchill's picture

Someone was on risk for insurance.

Can you say Jewish stocktake in Chinese.

walküre's picture

Can't do that but I can tell you that the tribe will never share the golden calf. This Chinese shmo actually thought he could by himself 1 ton of precious with his fake fiat Mao paper!

COSMOS's picture

I would suggest you go to your gold bars and cut them in half to make sure there is nothing worthless inside covered by the gold.  Also nothing wrong with melting that stuff down to make sure its real gold.

Also never trust anyone with our gold.  He should of been with those precious babies from inceptions to final destination in his safe.

gh0atrider's picture

Don't get rehypothecated like the gold bugs did!

Buy your Bitcoins today!!

Save_America1st's picture

PM's update from Turd Ferguson.  A good read and some great analysis too.  Bottom line:  Save your dry powder for PM's until the end of June as we could be goin' lower, folks. Then back the fucking truck up!!!

Clarifying The Picture For June


nope-1004's picture

It's because of articles like this that I buy US dollars and keep them in my wallet.  Unlike gold and silver that can be lost when dumped in a lake, my US dollars dry out nicely after getting wet.  My wealth is instantly preserved.  So serves all you goldbugz right.   /s

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

No one's done it yet, so I might as well and get it out of the way:


(Elvis voice: "Thank you, thank you very much, thank you...")


Four chan's picture

i like how the ghana scammers put a dragon on the back, nice touch. 

strannick's picture



Its not worthless. Tungsten's going for $400 ton...

Manthong's picture

I sense an analogy to the USSA nowadays.

new game's picture

another reason why gold will be a hard sell when nobody trusts anyone, which will be upon us soon. fuck gold...

gold is a false paridim of wealth, luring in fools that have a false value of wealth. wealth comes from inside your mind(value and virtue), not a vault or the bottom of a lake...


GetZeeGold's picture





Buy your Bitcoins today!!


A comparison of cut open real and fake bitcoins reveal both are nothing but air.

svayambhu108's picture

real gold dissapears in planes

Never One Roach's picture



I guess I'm pretty lucky; the ones I bought from that Nigerian were 100% genuine.


He told me so.

Haole's picture

Bitcoin will be $55,000 before gold. 

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Either or both reaching $55,000 is OK with me.

Bindar Dundat's picture

I like NXT as well as BTC.   


Right now it is $.08 and will double double every month for awhile until it hits $10.00 or so.   

Manthong's picture

Crap.. I was just starting to get a decent grip on the whole Bitcoin approach.. and now a whole new angle?
I went to  lots of nice bullet points, but where is a good overview of the architecture and process/flow?

Lionhearted's picture

Enjoy The Fed stealing your money out of your wallet without even touching it. LOL They are doing it every day.

The Federal Reserve's Explicit Goal: Devalue The Dollar 33% This is a Forbes article not some nut job conspiracy. They are doing this.


Son of Loki's picture

So what does this have to do with that missing Malaysian airliner?

CuttingEdge's picture

Two tonnes of au on board is one hell of an incentive to make it disappear...


natty light's picture

Thurston Howell III was probably thinking similar when he took chest full of cash on the Minnow.

Manthong's picture

Being stuck on a tropical island with Mary Ann and Ginger would be a decent motivator, too.

JR's picture

Exactly! nope. Fake gold has nothing on the rest of us; we have fake dollars!

TeamDepends's picture

We enjoy Turd, but prefer his brother, Coprolite Ferguson, because Copi believes, as do we, that silver is going to catch gold and perhaps even lap it.

Blano's picture

Just like a few months ago, and in 2013, & 2012, & 2011, and......

lunaticfringe's picture

I seem to have heard this before.

Pinto Currency's picture



Tungsten-filled gold bars are almost as worthless as those trillion $ bearer bonds found in Italy and almost as silly as QE.

putaipan's picture

ah well, worthless if you can't get anyone to cash 'em .... if you thought those were fishy ( pun intended) see linky below-

dontgoforit's picture

Man, that makes my stomach tighten up and it wasn't even my gold.  What a crappy trick.

Citxmech's picture

Jesus - that was a 10oz bar too. . .


Harbanger's picture

Sum ting wong is also waiting for his payoff from that Nigerian email.

shovelhead's picture

He could have run into Fuk King Yu on the Hong Kong end.