Licence revoked from Dubai e-commerce trader Gold AE

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre has terminated the trade licence of gold retailer Gold AE, amid an acrimonious legal battle between its shareholders that has left several of its customers unable to access their accounts for several weeks.

Gold AE, a Dubai-based e-commerce website that enables the online trading of gold and silver for retail customers, suspended its services without warning around October 26, according to four of the company’s customers who spoke to The National.

The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DIFC-registered Gold Holding Limited, has given no formal notice of suspension of services, according to the customers, who asked to remain anonymous.

“In September I asked for [my gold] but I was strongly suggested to wait since the value of the gold was expected to go up and I took their advice,” said one customer who invested more than $100,000 with the company.

“What I didn’t know was that there was already trouble in the company. And I came to know of all this in late October, when their trading website was down, and no one was answering their phone in the office or their mobile phones.

“I really don’t know what to do or where to turn. This is money that I was investing for my children’s education, but no one has told us anything.”

Gold AE’s trading licence was terminated by the DMCC last week.

“DMCC has conducted an internal investigation into the allegations of fraudulent activity by Gold AE, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gold Holding Limited [a DIFC licensed entity],” a spokesman for the free zone said. “As a result of this investigation, DMCC has terminated the trade licence for Gold AE.”

The decision was described as “final, binding and non-appealable” in a letter from the DMCC to management seen by The National.

The DMCC has advised those left out of pocket by Gold AE to refer their complaints to the DIFC or Dubai Courts, according to customers, even though their contracts state that the DMCC must appoint arbitrators to settle disputes.

Another customer, who also asked not to be named, said that customers have been offered credit notes as a certificate of their investments in Gold AE, but no further details had been shared to date.

Gold AE’s holding company Gold Holding Limited remains an active company within the DIFC, according to the DIFC’s registry.

The company does not fall under the regulatory auspices of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) because it is not registered as a financial services company, according to a senior DFSA official.

Management representatives of Gold Holding and Gold AE declined to comment.

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