Four men aged between 21 and 29 have been arrested for allegedly pawning fake gold bars, police said on Wednesday (Sep 14).
In a news release, police said they received several reports of cheating involving fake gold bars that had been passed off as having been issued by the Perth Mint.
Officers from the Ang Mo Kio and Tanglin divisions then conducted ground enquiries and subsequently arrested the suspects, taking S$1,000 in cash as evidence.
Based on preliminary investigations, the four men are believed to be involved in several other similar cases of cheating, the authorities said.
Police advised pawnshop owners to be vigilant against similar ruses, and to check and verify the identities of individuals who pawn items at their business premises as well as their guarantors.
"Pawnshop owners are also encouraged to carry out detailed examination of the items to be pawned before making any transactions," they added.
According to the Australian mint's website, the Perth Mint's gold minted bars – which come in 5g, 10g, 20g, 1oz and 10oz sizes – feature the mint's logo and hopping kangaroo motifs. Each bar, which displays its weight and purity, is also packaged in a green tamper-proof display card.
The four suspects will be charged in court for cheating on Thursday. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a fine.