How it works:
- Situation: this is a scam targeted at foreigners, but not necessarily at tourists. It has cme into fore in mid-2019 where large amounts were swindled off foreigners, with even a close associate of a member of the UAE’s royal family falling for it. It is alleged that a syndicate is involved and is “untouchable” due to its links within various organizations.
- Opening: what they do is to offer you gold at a cheap price with the excuse that is smuggled from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Set-up 1: once you reach Kenya, you will be given VIP treatment and perhaps even stay at an exclusive hotel. Next, they will bring you to their office where they show you fake business documents, licenses as well as some sample gold which is real. They then pressure you to seal the deal fast by making hefty upfront payments to cover the export processing fee. Once you do so, they disappear or claim that the gold has been seized.
- Set-up 2: selling fake gold nuggets for the price of a real one. If you try to report this, you may find the tables turned on you as the act of dealing with smuggled gold is illegal.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- If you are serious about buying gold, it is recommended to contact the Department of Mines and Geology for guidelines regarding the transaction of gold (and other precious metals).
- Only deal with trusted, reliable sources and conduct extensive due diligence before proceeding (e.g. business information, licenses, etc).