This isn’t the first time an Irish passport has been used to forge a company and/or person’s existence. This time around it is believed that a group from Nigeria put together a massive gold scam that almost amounted to over €100 mil in gold from US investors. They told the investors that the unprocessed gold coming from African mines would be shipped into Europe and avoid fees, taxes, etc. Turned out that the gold didn’t exist with the company and neither did the head of the company, John Recketts. His passport number was linked to an elderly woman in Dublin whose passport was stolen.
The alleged scammers hired an Irish security team to bring the gold from Africa to Europe, but the team quickly found out that the name the operation was organized by was unreachable. They expressed their concern and immediately investors withdrew. However, this didn’t mean everyone was saved from the €100 mil loss. The Irish security team who made their way down to the border were left stranded without the pay promised to return home.
“We were cut loose — the minute they (the investors) realised what was going on they walked away. We had to pay all our own expenses and even our flights home,” said one member of the security team.
When dealing internationally and off the record (avoiding taxes and processing fees), be sure to background check who you are dealing with. Rookie buyers shouldn’t jump into international bullion deals, unless consulting with an experienced investor. I can advise that it is very risky placing faith in a company that you can not speak directly with or find proof of past business experience and ratings. International gold buying is inevitable in our global economy; be smart about your provider. And most of all, make sure they exist!