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Napintorn Srisunpang Alerts on Rise of Counterfeit Gold in Bangkok’s Yaowarat: A Guide to Safe Gold Shopping

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Step into the bustling streets of Yaowarat, Bangkok’s very own vibrant China Town, and you’ll find yourself in one of Thailand’s premier destinations for gold shopping. This neighborhood is a dazzling paradise for those with a penchant for shiny things, boasting a vast array of shops where the golden dreams of many are made and sold.

However, amidst the glimmer and gleam lies a cautionary tale. Deputy Minister Napintorn Srisunpang recently shed light on an unsettling trend – the rise of counterfeit gold. With gold prices soaring to new heights, over 37,500 baht for just 15.244 grams, crafty forgers see an irresistible opportunity. These tricksters are flooding the market with fake gold bars and ornaments, aiming for a quick and illicit profit. In fact, last year alone, the ministry was bombarded with over 1,600 complaints of these fraudulent fineries.

But fear not, for the authorities are on the case! Just this past Friday, an inspection was carried out in a stellar collaboration between officials from the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT) and the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB). Their mission? To ensure gold shops shine with honesty and transparency. They’ve urged vendors to clearly display prices and to only use scales certified by the Department of Internal Trade, sending a clear message that transparency is golden.

Napintorn highlighted a troubling advancement in the forgers’ arsenal – the use of modern technology. This dastardly development makes spotting a fake with the naked eye nearly as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. To combat this, buyers are advised to arm themselves with BWC (buy with confidence) certificates from GIT and to only patronize shops recognized by the Gold Traders Association. This is akin to having a golden shield in your shopping arsenal, ensuring your treasures are genuine and your investment sound.

A word of caution for those tempted by the convenience of online gold shopping – it’s a veritable Wild West. Unable to inspect products or authenticity certificates in person, you may find yourself parting with your hard-earned cash for nothing more than a glittering sham. Deputy Minister Napintorn’s advice rings clear, “Please refrain from buying gold from online sellers, where you are unable to view in person the products or certificates before making payment.”

And let’s not forget about repercussions for those who try to tarnish the integrity of gold trading. Failing to display a product’s price? That could set you back up to 10,000 baht. Using uncertified scales? You might find yourself weighing the options from a jail cell for up to six months or paying a hefty fine of 20,000 baht. And for those who dare tamper with the scales, a chilling 7-year imprisonment or a 280,000 baht fine awaits.

If you ever find yourself in a gold-related predicament, or if a purchase seems less shiny under scrutiny, the Department of Internal Trade is just a call away at hotline 1569. They’re the guardians of gold shopping, ensuring that every piece you purchase lights up your life, without the shadow of doubt.

Yaowarat’s winding lanes and glittering shops promise adventures in gold shopping like nowhere else. With the right knowledge and a cautious approach, you’re all set to discover treasures that are not just beautiful, but real and true. So, arm yourself with wisdom, and let the hunt for genuine gold begin!


  1. GoldHunter99 March 22, 2024

    Honestly, this crackdown on counterfeit gold is long overdue. Too many stories of people getting fooled. If prices weren’t so high, maybe people wouldn’t resort to fakes!

    • SkepticSam March 22, 2024

      Higher prices or not, cheating others is plain wrong. It’s about ethics. But, with modern tech, how do you even tell what’s real anymore?

      • TechieTara March 22, 2024

        Modern tech not only helps create convincing fakes but also provides us with better verification tools. GIT certificates are a step in the right direction.

    • TrueGoldFan March 22, 2024

      Exactly, @SkepticSam. It’s all about being vigilant. Shops certified by the Gold Traders Association are usually a safe bet. Always check for those BWC certificates!

  2. Lisa M. March 22, 2024

    I had no idea counterfeiting was such a huge issue in the gold market. This makes me think twice about investing in gold jewelry. Maybe it’s better to stick with stocks?

    • InvestorGuru March 22, 2024

      Diversification is key, Lisa. While stocks are great, tangible assets like gold have their place. Don’t let fear deter you; just shop wisely.

      • Lisa M. March 22, 2024

        Thanks for the advice! I guess it all boils down to being informed and cautious.

  3. YaowaratLocal March 22, 2024

    This crackdown is a double-edged sword for me. While it’s good for consumers, smaller shops might suffer due to increased scrutiny and regulations.

    • EconGuy March 22, 2024

      That’s a good point. But think about the long-term benefits. Establishing trust and reliability could actually draw in more customers. It’s all about reputation.

      • ShopOwner March 22, 2024

        Agreed. It’s tough for us, especially with the costs of compliance, but if it means more business in the long run, I’m all for it.

      • YaowaratLocal March 22, 2024

        I hope you’re right. It just seems like an uphill battle for us right now.

  4. CuriousCat March 22, 2024

    I find it fascinating how technology is playing a role here. Both in the creation of more sophisticated fakes but also in providing solutions. We’re living in an era where tech is truly reshaping traditional industries.

    • Nerdvana March 22, 2024

      Absolutely! It’s a cat and mouse game between counterfeiters and those trying to stop them. I’m wondering if blockchain could be a solution for authenticating gold purchases?

  5. Jenny B. March 22, 2024

    Buying gold online sounds like a minefield. I didn’t even consider how risky it could be without seeing the product or certs. No wonder the Deputy Minister is advising against it.

    • OnlineShopper March 22, 2024

      I’ve bought gold online before and had no issues. It’s all about doing your homework and making sure the seller has good reviews and valid certifications.

      • Jenny B. March 22, 2024

        Good point. I guess it’s not all black and white. There’s risk, but being informed and careful can mitigate it somewhat.

  6. TravelBug March 22, 2024

    Yaowarat is such a beautiful place; it’s sad that counterfeit gold is tarnishing its reputation. Hope these measures help! Can’t wait to visit once travel is back to normal.

    • LovesThailand March 22, 2024

      I visited two years ago and was amazed by Yaowarat’s vibrant atmosphere! Didn’t buy gold, but enjoyed the food. It’s a must-visit for anyone going to Bangkok.

  7. EthicsWatcher March 22, 2024

    While we focus on counterfeit gold, what about the ethical implications? Where is this gold coming from? Are we ignoring the broader implications of gold production?

    • EcoWarrior March 22, 2024

      Great point. Sometimes, the focus on authenticity overshadows the environmental and ethical costs of gold mining. We need more sustainable practices in place.

      • GlobalThinker March 22, 2024

        Not to mention the labor conditions in some gold mines. There’s a lot more to be concerned about beyond just counterfeit gold.

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