Indians, beware of gold fraudsters in West Africa

August 30th, 2012 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Accra, Aug 30 (IANS) The Indian High Commission in Ghana has cautioned people back home to be careful in dealing with gold dealers who advertise on the internet and avoid buying gold priced below the London Metal Exchange (LME) rates.

The warning came after some Indian businessmen contacted the High Commission on purchase of gold and other metals and minerals from Ghana.

“There are several addresses of self-acclaimed agents on the internet with potential to offer large quantities of gold from Ghana. Be careful,” said the High Commission as an increasing number of fraudsters have taken to the internet claiming to be gold dealers across West Africa.

“Any person who claims to have gold for sale should be directed to deliver the gold (and diamonds) at the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC) for testing/ assaying in Accra, Ghana.”

The PMMC will then confirm the genuineness and value of the gold to the prospective overseas buyers.

The High Commission reminded overseas buyers that gold is normally sold in Ghana in the smelted form. “Offers for sale of gold dust at low prices are not genuine and should be ignored.

“Pricing of gold in Ghana is based on the LME quotes. Therefore, offers with big discounts ranging from 10 per cent off the LME are only meant to entice overseas buyers to part with cash to the fraudsters, who normally ask for additional fees in respect of incidental expenses like transportation, commission, security, movement, handling, documentation and insurance,” it added.

“Inspection and assay certificates purported to have been issued by Geological Survey and Societe General de Souveillante (SGS) may not be genuine, and should be cross-checked with PMMC,” the High Commission said.

“Presentations made to foreigners about large holdings of gold dust by people designated as chiefs, relatives of famous and respected chiefs, land owners, and miners are ‘fairy tales’ and not to be believed.”

It said the provision of PMMC, Minerals Commission, Geological Survey Department and Ministry Lands and Natural Resources Certificates by a dealer or supplier do not guarantee genuineness of transaction as many of these documents are forged, and cautioned that “documents must be cross-checked with PMMC”.

It asked individuals and organisations to “ignore suppliers who refuse to deliver gold or diamond to PMMC for certification and offer various excuses”.

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