With lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19, gold trade has moved to unofficial online platforms lacking proper monitoring, vice president of the Tehran Gold and Jewelry Union said.
Mohammad Kashti-Aray said some 2,500 jewelers are operating online in the capital alone. “They have no permit to operate either virtually or in the physical gold market,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Market observers say the lockdown has given rise to the unofficial trade in gold via online platforms. The surge in online gold trade is normally linked to the lockdown and business closures. Iran’s gold market closed for two weeks on April 10.
As per lockdown rules, only essential businesses categorized as Group I, including bakeries, supermarkets, groceries, garages, chain stores, health, medical and treatment centers, pharmacies and printing shops are allowed to open.
Kashti-Aray said the TGJU has banned online gold trade because the risks are high. “There is no supervision over online gold deals. Sellers usually don’t issue invoice and there is no transparency. So far as the union is concerned such deals are prohibited,” he said.
He, however, acknowledged that overseeing the digital gold trade is not easy. Efforts are underway to recognize online gold trade after making sure it is properly supervised and orderly, he said.
“We have been working on the issue for some time. The goal is to find a proper mechanism for jewelers to operate online.” Almost 3,000 jewelers are officially allowed to sell gold in Tehran’s bullion market of which 500 also operate online.
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