HCM CITY (VNS)— The Sai Gon Jewelry Company (SJC) has lodged complaints with the State Bank of Viet Nam and police about a recent boom in "fake" SJC gold bars.
Gold smuggled in from other countries or not originally produced by SJC was being illegally stamped with the company's logo and being sold in the market, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported yesterday.
The trading in fake SJC gold bars, fuelled by the government's decision to recognise it as the sole national brand, has caused "bad impacts," the paper quoted Le Hung Dung, chairman of the company's management board, as saying.
The trade in one-tael fake SJC gold bars (previously the bars were of one-fifth of a tael, which is 0.24 ounces) has been found of late in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces and in HCM City.
While it is hard to discern any difference between these bars and the original with the naked eye, the quality is often lower, the Tuoi Tre report said.
It also said most gold shop owners have become vigilant and were refusing to buy bars that they suspected was not original.
Customers might be selling such gold to the banks, the report said.
It cited experts as saying smuggled gold was being used to make the fake SJC bars because of the huge difference in domestic and international gold prices, with the former higher by VND2 – 3 million (US$100 – 150) per tael.
The fake SJC gold bar is being made in other countries and brought into Viet Nam through the northern border, the report said.
"We hope police and relevant authorities will find a solution to this problem, but the most important thing is to narrow the gap between local and international gold prices," SJC chairman Dung said.
He said the company is strengthening its gold quality testing facilities and advising customers to buy gold from prestigious shops with new packaging that cannot be faked.
They should also get a receipt with the serial number of the gold bar on it, he added. — VNS