Blackmarket gold trade under threat with new scheme
1:00pm Wednesday 5th December 2012 in News
Blackmarket trade in stolen gold has come under attack with the launch of a new scheme.
Gold Standard, was rolled out on Tuesday at Minar Jeweller in Tooting by Metropolitan Police in conjuction with Trading Standards, the National Association of Goldsmiths, the National Pawnbrokers Association and the British Jewellers Association.
The scheme sees jewellers, goldsmiths and pawnbrokers encouraged to demand key information about the origin of the gold and the integrity of the seller.
Retailers are asked to obtain a name and address from every customer, verify customers' identity, only purchase from over 18s and capture transactions on CCTV and retain footage for 31 days.
Pravin Pattni, the owner of Minar Jewellers, in Upper Tooting Road, has already signed up to the scheme and is urging others to follow suit.
He said: "The price of gold has increased significantly in the last few years. Gold theft has also increased in this time so thieves need to dispose of the stolen gold somewhere.
"Hopefully this scheme will make it very difficult to sell. If you buy gold under the Gold Standard you will have to provide certain vital information.
"We hope it will push criminals into a corner and benefit all retailers in the industry.
Mr Pattni, who is also chairman of the National Association of Goldsmiths, added: "The scheme is currently voluntary but hopefully eventually it will become mandatory."
Chief Superintendent David Chinchen, Wandsworth's borough commander, said: "Those who choose to knowingly handle stolen property can expect a visit from police with a search warrant.
"We have highlighted metal thieves who steal from gravestones. This is about precious metals but the same heartache is felt by those who lose their most treasured family jewellery to thieves and those that profit from their criminal activities."
Members who sign up will receive a window sticker and posters to demonstrate their membership to the public and to deter criminals looking to dispose of stolen gold and other valuables.