TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a male Chinese national for allegedly attempting to sell 17 kilograms in fake gold items earlier this month, reports TBS News (June 28).
On June 21, the man, 33, allegedly attempted to sell what he claimed were eight gold Buddhist statues and 131 gold nuggets in the shape of horseshoes for 33 million yen to a male company manager, 44, living in Arakawa Ward. The suspect claimed the items had been unearthed from a construction site.
The suspect, who has been charged with attempted fraud, denies the allegations. “I didn’t know whether the items were fake or genuine,” the suspect told police.
In carrying out the ruse, the suspect cut off a real gold fragment that he had previously affixed to one of the fake items in the presence of the would-be buyer. The buyer went to police after realizing that the price asked by the suspect was considerably lower than the market value for real gold.
Two days before, the suspect is believed to have pulled a similar ruse whereby he fraudulently obtained 10 million yen.
Since 2010, police are aware of about 30 cases nationwide in which articles falsely claimed to have been dug up have been pawned off on unsuspecting buyers, according to the Asahi Shimbun (June 28).