LegCo Panel on Financial Affairs
Meeting on 2 December 1996
Bullion Trading

At the meeting of the LegCo Panel on Financial Affairs held on
29 July 1996, the Administration undertook to -

  1. publish an information pamphlet on bullion trading to publicise a telephone number for enquiries and complaints;
  2. liaise with the Police and the Security Branch on the provision of all necessary support to the Police to combat bullion trading frauds; and
  3. check with the Police on the records of complaints against bullion trading frauds.

2. We have since published an information pamphlet (copy annexed) and sent over 10,000 copies to the Home Affairs Department, Labour Department and Consumer Council for distribution to the public. The pamphlet draws the public’s attention to abusive practices of some companies which purport to be bullion traders and highlights pitfalls to potential investors and job seekers. It also includes a telephone number of the Financial Services Branch for enquiries and complaints and a telephone number of the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Police for report of suspected frauds.

3. We have been in touch with the Security Branch and the Police on the handling of fraud related to bullion trading and asked the Police to come to us for anything we can help. The Police has advised that officers in the police formations which usually receive such complaints have been briefed on the handling of complaints.

4. We have also obtained the following statistics from the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Police on complaints against bullion trading in the past five years -

  1. until this year no reports concerning bullion trading had been received for many years;
  2. the number of prosecutions is nil; and
  3. no companies are known to have closed because of police action.

5. For the current year, the Police has advised that since March 1996, 142 persons have made complaints to them. Warrants have been executed by the Police against some of the companies and several arrests have been made. As at 15 October 1996, no charges have been laid. However, legal advice concerning possible charges is being sought on some of the cases.

Financial Services Branch
Government Secretariat
26 November 1996

Last Updated on 18 August 1998