Fake gold Buddha statues and ingots seized by police are alleged to have been used to scam people.
Fake gold Buddha statues and ingots seized by police are alleged to have been used to scam people. Chloe Lyons

Fake gold 'worth $3m' seized in scam targetting Coast businesses

AN AGED map, coins, gold shavings and holy statues were used in an attempt to defraud a Coast business owner out of $50,000, police claim.

Last week police uncovered a large haul of golden Buddha statues and ingots which they believe were presented as being made from real gold in an elaborate scam.

Fake passports, documents, 20 mobile phones and a small amount of real gold were also found in the search.

 

Two Chinese nationals, Ziqiang Liu, 33, and Jinshui Yang, 50, were arrested in Gympie Tce, Noosaville last Thursday and remain in custody after their appearance in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Friday.

They will appear again in court on May 4. 

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Burns from the Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch said the men came to police attention after a restaurant owner was approached by the men to buy $50,000 in statues and ingots.

She grew suspicious and contacted police who launched an investigation.

Act Det Snr Sgt Burns said it was alleged the men would provide real samples of gold to people they were trying to sell statues to in an attempt bolster their confidence in the product.

According to police, the men claimed to have found the haul on a construction site and would show potential alleged victims a map.

It's estimated the 50-60kg of fake gold statues seized would value at $3m if they were real.

"We suspect there are many other victims who could be out there," Act Det Snr Sgt Burns said.

Police urge anyone who has been offered these statues or ingots to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.