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‘Cash for Gold’ trade needs regulation to avoid ‘legal fencing outlets’ – O’Brien

12 August, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin justice spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD has called on the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence to set the date for the publication of his departmental report into the ‘Cash for Gold’ trade. This must be followed by necessary regulation and enforcement.

Deputy O’Brien commenting from Cork City today said:

“The ‘Cash for Gold’ industry has flourished across recession ravaged Ireland. Sinn Féin representatives in my own city and across the state have received numerous complaints in relation to certain outlets, dealers and their practices.

“In reply to a Sinn Féin question in the Dáil Minister Shatter said that his department was finalising a report to be published on the trade and he promised any necessary action and legislation. This needs to happen as soon as possible.

“The reality is that the ‘Cash for Gold’ sector is completely unregulated. Anyone can open a dealership. There appears to be little or no attempt made by some dealers to trace the origin of the gold and jewellery which they purchase.

“This is a perfect scenario for criminals: no questions, jewellery in and cash out.

“The Minister has stated that ‘all Cash for Gold premises in the State have been visited by An Garda Síochána and the operators have been made aware of their responsibilities and obligations with regard to purchasing gold and jewellery.’

“The Gardaí in the context of reduced numbers and resources, down to governmental cuts are going to find it difficult to police all these unchecked ‘Cash for Gold’ dealerships.

“The only action that makes sense is regulation of the ‘Cash for Gold’ sector: licensing for proprietors and reasonable proof of origin and ownership of gold being bought and the reporting of suspicious activity by dealers.” ENDS

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