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article imageUAE traders discover all that glitters is not gold

By R. C. Camphausen     Aug 19, 2010 in Crime
Dubai - A number of traders from the United Arab Emirates were shocked when Customs discovered that the gold they had ordered from Ethiopia or Ghana, attractively priced, was nothing but worthless mud and dust.
In 1536, Shakespeare wrote the line 'all that glisters is not gold for his play The Merchant of Venice', and now that wisdom has been proven to merchants in the Unite Arab Emirates (UAE), where 5 tonnes of gold have have turned out to be mere mud, dust or steel..
With a tonne of gold currently valued at about $40 million, the various traders who ordered gold from Ghanese contacts have been cheated for around $200 million. In a report on the website Emirates 24/7, a spokesman for the company Emirates Gold has put the reason for all of this very succinctly, saying "The traders got greedy." He referred to the fact that the gold from Ghana had been much cheaper than anything available elsewhere, and that the now duped merchants were those who tried to make some easy money.
Mohamad Shakarchi, the managing director of Emirates Gold, is further quoted in this part of the report:
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.
It is not only from Ghana that fake gold imports have been suggested, and it seems that several million dollars worth of gold bars coming from Ethiopia turned out to be gold plated steel.
Before closing a deal, buyers are usually shown samples that consist of real gold, but once they've paid their money for the gold, insurance and transport cost into the designated account, all contact with the sellers is through pre-paid phone and anonymous webmail accounts making the culprits hard to trace and find.
The article also says "... when the consignment reaches the port, it will be only mud or sand. Once Dubai Customs tightened controls, fake gold imports started reaching the UAE through other ports."
The article also appeared on the website Modern Ghana, and sellers will have to look for a change in strategy.
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