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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Fri, 06/06/2014 - 14:51 | 4830822 HedgeAccordingly
Fri, 06/06/2014 - 14:59 | 4830866 max2205
max2205's picture

Ho li fuc

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:03 | 4830885 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture



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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:11 | 4830888 idea_hamster
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:

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:11 | 4830918 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:16 | 4830935 rehypothecator
rehypothecator's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:20 | 4830954 SoberOne
SoberOne's picture

Even more barbarous than the real stuff!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:24 | 4830965 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture



I make that typo too.  ;-)

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:27 | 4830980 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Caveat Emptor

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:30 | 4830991 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Someone was on risk for insurance.

Can you say Jewish stocktake in Chinese.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:48 | 4831055 walküre
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!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:56 | 4831069 COSMOS
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.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:15 | 4831151 gh0atrider
gh0atrider's picture

Don't get rehypothecated like the gold bugs did!

Buy your Bitcoins today!!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:21 | 4831163 Save_America1st
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


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:28 | 4831189 nope-1004
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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:36 | 4831215 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $55,000  !!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 17:25 | 4831349 Theosebes Goodfellow
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...")


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 17:37 | 4831366 Four chan
Four chan's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 20:38 | 4831664 August
August's picture


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 22:14 | 4831814 strannick
strannick's picture



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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 22:34 | 4831841 Manthong
Manthong's picture

I sense an analogy to the USSA nowadays.

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 01:08 | 4832022 Stackers
Stackers's picture


Sat, 06/07/2014 - 05:37 | 4832126 new game
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...


Sat, 06/07/2014 - 06:34 | 4832144 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





Buy your Bitcoins today!!


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

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 10:26 | 4832299 svayambhu108
svayambhu108's picture

real gold dissapears in planes

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 18:43 | 4831469 Poundsand
Poundsand's picture

It had to be done.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 19:18 | 4831523 Never One Roach
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.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 20:42 | 4831668 Haole
Haole's picture

Bitcoin will be $55,000 before gold. 

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 21:31 | 4831742 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 23:49 | 4831936 Bindar Dundat
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.   

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 12:31 | 4832554 Manthong
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?

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 21:21 | 4831733 Lionhearted
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.


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 21:50 | 4831770 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

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

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 03:24 | 4832083 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

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


Sat, 06/07/2014 - 00:54 | 4832013 natty light
natty light's picture

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

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 12:35 | 4832568 Manthong
Manthong's picture

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

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 12:02 | 4832457 JR
JR's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:45 | 4831237 TeamDepends
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.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:57 | 4831279 Blano
Blano's picture

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

Sun, 06/08/2014 - 10:20 | 4834071 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

I seem to have heard this before.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:31 | 4830992 Pinto Currency
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.

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:45 | 4831239 putaipan
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-

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:20 | 4830955 dontgoforit
dontgoforit's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:00 | 4831095 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

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


Fri, 06/06/2014 - 15:47 | 4831050 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:31 | 4831201 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

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

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 17:18 | 4831325 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Stolen gold has now been delivered to notorious Chinese fence, Ray Ling

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 09:52 | 4832264 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

It's an Odd Job, but someone had to do it...

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:36 | 4831210 Time for Titus
Time for Titus's picture

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!