Make Kitco Your Homepage

U.K. Gold Thefts Top $180 Million Since 2013 - BBC Investigation

Kitco News

Editor's Note: Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today's must-read news stories and expert opinions that moved the precious metals and financial markets. Sign up here!

Kitco Daily Recap

U.K. Gold Thefts Top $180 Million Since 2013 — BBC Investigation

(Kitco News) - Over USD$180 million worth of Asian gold jewelry has been stolen in the U.K. during the last five years, according to a BBC investigation, which uncovered the information through Freedom of Information requests sent to police.

“Out of 23 police forces that provided figures, Greater London had the highest value stolen - £115.6m [USD$152.6 million], followed by £9.6m [USD$12.8 million] in Greater Manchester,” BBC reported after sending requests to 45 police forces.

The Asian population was said to be specifically targeted by robbers, the investigation revealed, noting that it is a tradition in British-Asian families to gift gold jewelry during weddings as well as pass that jewelry on from one generation to the next.

The exact amount stolen amounted to $186.6 million worth of gold jewelry with nearly 28,000 reported thefts since 2013, BBC added, noting that this the first time such figure has ever been compiled.

Police forces in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland did not respond to the requests, BBC added.

The biggest number of thefts has been submitted by Metropolitan Police — with 3,300 cases totaling £21.2 million (USD$28 million).

Most of the stolen jewelry most likely had a lot of cultural significance, selling specialist of Asian Gold Sanjay Kumar told BBC.

“People are told by their parents and grandparents 'you must buy gold - it's an investment, it's lucky’,” he said. “It's something that we as Asians do, so people are following the tradition and the culture.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.