TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of two male Chinese nationals for allegedly attempting to sell dozens of fake gold items, reports TBS News (July 11).
Between June 23 and July 10, the suspects, aged 44 and 41, allegedly attempted to sell what were claimed to be 52 gold Buddhist statues and nuggets in the shape of ships for 4 million yen to a woman, a 47-year-old Chinese national living in Suginami Ward, in a coffee shop in Shinjuku Ward.
The suspects claimed that the items, which weighed a total of around 6 kilograms, had been discovered at a construction site.
The suspects, who have been charged with attempted fraud, deny the allegations. “I thought they were handicrafts,” one of the suspects told the Shinjuku Police Station in denying the allegations, according to the Asahi Shimbun (July 7).
In carrying out the ruse, the suspects used a hacksaw to 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, police said.
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