Fake-branded but real gold bars slip 'dirty' metal into world markets

Section:

By Peter Hobson
Reuters
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

LONDON -- A forgery crisis is quietly roiling the world's gold industry.

Gold bars fraudulently stamped with the logos of major refineries are being inserted into the global market to launder smuggled or illegal gold, refining and banking executives tell Reuters. The fakes are hard to detect, making them an ideal fund-runner for narcotics dealers or warlords.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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In the last three years bars worth at least $50 million stamped with Swiss refinery logos, but not actually produced by those facilities, have been identified by all four of Switzerland's leading gold refiners and found in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the major banks at the heart of the market in bullion, said senior executives at gold refineries, banks and other industry sources.

Four of the executives said at least 1,000 of the bars, of a standard size known as a kilobar for their weight, have been found. That is a small share of output from the gold industry, which produces roughly 2 million to 2.5 million such bars each year. But the forgeries are sophisticated, so thousands more may have gone undetected, according to the head of Switzerland's biggest refinery. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gold-swiss-fakes-exclusive/exclusive-...

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