Cologne investigators have been pursuing this fraud case for months. On 2 July 2022, they took action and arrested three suspects (30, 31, and 51 years old) in Cologne Ossendorf. They are accused of offering fake gold coins on various online portals since the beginning of the year. They are said to have made 80,000 euros with counterfeit Canadian Maple Leaf coins.
All three suspects are from Solingen in Germany. The 31-year-old main suspect was “already known for similar fraud cases”, as the prosecutor put it. Whereas the 51-year-old suspected accomplice was released, the other two men were taken to a magistrate.
On the very same day, a man who might be one of the injured parties came forward. It is said that he contacted two of the suspects due to an online ad and bought 15 caounterfeit gold coins worth more than 20,000 euros from them.
Since the police believe that more people fell victim to the scheme, Detective Superintendent Hochkeppel recommended: “Anyone who bought Canadian Maple Leaf coins in recent months should immediately have their authenticity checked and turn to us in case of signs of forgery.”
The police have not yet disclosed more information about the counterfeit coins.
Injured parties are asked to contact the Kriminalkommissariat 34 via phone (+49 221 229-0) or via mail.
You can learn about the features of the real coins in our article Bullion Coins Part 2: The Maple Leaf.
The online trade in counterfeit (bullion) coins has increased dramatically. In the US, the police also uncovered yet another scam.