Add this one to the wtf files: a headline in Emirates 24/7 is sufficient to demonstrate what ridiculous proportions goldmania has reached in various parts of the world: "Tons of gold imports turn to dust on arrival. Gold imported into the UAE by traders and investors turned out to be fake on closer inspection." Thank god for "closer inspection." The total impact of such fake gold in the UAE alone: "over $200 million."And the scariest bit: "Recent media reports suggested that several million dollars worth of gold with the Ethiopian Central Bank turned out to be fake. These bars of gold turned out to be gold plated steel bars." In other news, gold everywhere else is safe until proven to be gold-plated tungsten... pending closer inspection.
More on this hilarious development from the source:
Several tons of gold imported into the UAE by traders and investors turned out to be fake on closer inspection, resulting in millions of dirhams in losses and high levels of stress to the victims.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Mohamad Shakarchi,, Managing Director of Emirates Gold, said: "A lot of people in the UAE who tried to import gold at lower prices or through dubious overseas companies have been cheated.
We have inspected many consignments from African countries, especially Ghana, and found that there is not an ounce of gold in them.
For importing pure dust or other metals with yellow colour, these traders have paid several million dirhams.”
Dubai Customs sources confirmed the incidence of fake gold imports, but did not reply to a questionnaire sent by Emirates 24|7 ten days ago.
“The concerned official is on leave,” said a spokesman.
Apparently it has gotten so bad, that the UAE no longer even tests for African-sourced gold:
Emirates Gold has stopped examining gold imported from Africa. "We send specialists to examine a gold consignment only if it is routed through a local company.
We don’t have time to waste because most of these so called gold imports are fake. The traders got greedy. They thought they were getting gold at a discounted rate.”
Mohammed said that at least five tonnes of fake yellow metal is lying with Dubai Customs.
A tonne of gold will cost approximately $40 million. Merchants estimated that the minimum loss of fake gold imported by local traders is nothing less than $200 million.
He said many clients and Dubai Customs have requested the use of company’s expertise to verify the purity of gold. “The fake gold issue has affected many people. Some of the traders got heart attack, after our inspectors said there is no gold in the tonnes of imports brought from Africa,” Mohammed said.
And the scariest part of the report:
Recent media reports suggested that several million dollars worth of gold with the Ethiopian Central Bank turned out to be fake. These bars of gold turned out to be gold plated steel bars.
And yes, the Nigerian scam is now flatly focusing on gold:
The seller can walk away at any point with virtually no risk of being caught as all contacts are via anonymous free webmail accounts accessed from Internet cafes and via prepaid mobile phones.
After the real estate and stock market investments became dull, many local investors have turned to commodity, especially gold investment, said the Chief Executive Officer of JRG Commodities, Sajith Kumar PK.
Hopefully the flight to fraud has not reached South Africa and its Krugerrands yet or there will be hell to pay (in the form of gold dust) soon enough.