Thieves have perpetrated a trick of reverse alchemy on a mainland trader, turning what was to be a shipment of almost a metric ton of gold into iron bars.
Apple Daily reported Friday that the 43-year-old trader, who owns businesses in Hong Kong and Ghana, bought 989 kilograms of gold in Africa for about HK$270 million (US$34.82 million) in April, well below the market price of around HK$400 million.
The trader shipped the gold in 14 boxes to Hong Kong and stored them at a Tsuen Wan warehouse before delivering them to a buyer in Hung Hom a few days ago. But when the buyer opened the box, only iron bars were inside.
Hong Kong police said the gold was stored in Ghana for a month before being sent to Hong Kong at the end of May and was probably switched in the African country.
Law Siu-hung, chairman of the International Association of Consulting on Professional Insurance, said owners usually bought insurance for high-value shipments and premiums for such business are generally no more than 10 percent of the value of the insured goods.
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