Tainted Gold: Inside Perth Mint's billion dollar scandal


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This week on Four Corners, criminals could have targeted Australia's largest government-owned gold refiner, trying to exploit weaknesses in its reporting systems to launder money.

Reporter Angus Grigg and the team have spent months forensically investigating the inner workings of the Perth Mint, uncovering claims of major holes in the historic institution's money laundering defences.

The Perth Mint, owned by the WA government, is one of the world's largest refiners and retailers of gold bullion. It's a high risk for money laundering and it's required to conduct rigorous checks on customers.

Four Corners investigates whether the mint has been scrutinising its customers properly, including notorious underworld figures.

Anonymous accounts in tax havens may also have allowed high-risk individuals to hide the proceeds of crime, by holding gold in the Perth Mint's vault.

The Perth Mint could be responsible for billions of dollars' worth of fines if any of Australia's money laundering reporting laws are breached.

The fines would ultimately be paid by the taxpayer.

Tainted Gold reported by Angus Grigg goes to air on Monday 6th March at 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Link to promo video:

Perth Mint: $9 billion Australian gold bar purity scandal

Australia?s government-owned maker of gold bullion bars kept quiet damning evidence the gold it was selling was less than pure.

Australia?s only producer of gold bullion may have minted almost $9 billion of substandard bars, diluted with other metals, but kept the discovery quiet.

ABC news released an.... interesting piece on The Perth Mint last night and Michael and Reuben quickly delve into a couple of important things we took away from it. There's a lot to unpack so feel free to ask questions in the comments below and we'll either do a follow up or a livestream to discuss it further!

The chair of the Perth Mint says its dealings and trade of gold actually increased following a damning ABC report, showing investors weren’t scared off.

The Mint was hurled into the spotlight in March when a Four Corners report exposed problems with the Mint’s adherence to anti-money laundering rules enforced by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The ABC report also uncovered several instances of gold bars the Mint was trying to sell to the Shanghai Gold Exchange being knocked back because non-gold components in the bars didn’t meet the Exchange’s high purity thresholds.

That prompted a Senate inquiry, launched in July, which held a public hearing in Perth on Friday.


I only buy Thai gold now. I don't trust the Perth Mint anymore. Bloody disgraceful for what they did. Their product model has turned to crap too! Total garbage.