Fraud investigation, Sunshine Coast

Detectives from Noosa Criminal Investigation Branch have charged two men with fraud following the alleged sale of fake gold Budda statues to businesses across the Sunshine Coast last month, Queensland Police say.

It will be alleged the two men contacted the owner of a Noosaville Chinese restaurant on March 21 and provided a sample of gold as a way to entice the sale of approximate 11kg in gold ingots and Buddha statues.

The owner contacted police who commenced investigations and found the two men to have made dishonest representations.

As a result, two men aged 33 and 50, were arrested in Gympie Terrace at Noosaville yesterday.

It will be alleged the men were in possession of several Buddha statues and ingots believed to be fake as well as small scrapings of what is believed to be real gold used in the scam.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with one count each of fraud, possess tainted property and contravene order offences.

A 50-year-old man has been charged with one count each of fraud and contravene order offences.

The pair were expected to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning.

Further investigations are underway into similar scams identified across Mount Gravatt in 2016 and interstate, however it is not clear if the two men arrested are linked.

Police are seeking public assistance to identify anyone with information about similar scams or those who believe they may have been a victim to contact them.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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