Malaysia widens crackdown on gold trading companies

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Malaysian authorities have expanded a crackdown on suspected illegal gold trading activities, raiding a total of four companies suspected of taking deposits illegally, money laundering and tax evasion.

A central bank spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that police and government agencies jointly raided the offices of gold investment companies Pageantry Gold, Caesar Gold and Worldwide Far East.

The Friday operations followed a raid by the authorities earlier this week on the office of gold trading firm Genneva following complaints the company had failed to pay its clients and agents. Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department also raided Genneva’s offices in the island republic on the same day.

The raids come as gold is increasingly coveted by Asian investors looking for a hedge against inflation and to ride the strong gains in the precious metal’s price. The price of gold is around 11-month highs, driven higher in recent weeks by concerns that loose monetary conditions in Europe and the United States will stoke inflation.

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