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Global Gold Industry Hit By “Forgery Crisis” As Fake Kilobars Flood The Physical Market

By Tyler Durden

The global gold industry is facing a “forgery crisis.”

Gold bars that are being fraudulently stamped with the logos of major refineries are being inserted into the global market to help launder or smuggle illegal gold, Reuters reports. The fakes, which are difficult to detect, have become an ideal way for narcotics dealers or warlords to move money.

Over the last three years, bars worth at least $50 million that were fraudulently stamped with Swiss refinery logos have been identified by all four of Switzerland’s leading gold refiners. They were also found in the physical gold vault of J.P. Morgan & Chase, one of the key banks at the heart of the market in gold bullion (and which, as we first reported back in 2013, is located just across the NY Fed’s own gold vault).

At least 1,000 of the bars have been found, at a standard size known as a kilobar. Each kilobar, about the size of a cell phone, is worth about $50,000 at today’s prices. It marks a small slice of the gold industry, which produces between 2 million and 2.5 million bars per year, but the forgeries are sophisticated, so many more may have gone undetected.   “READ MORE…”

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