In a bid to make it harder for thieves to make money from stolen jewelry in Qatar, authorities have reminded residents and businesses of the rules for selling gold items in the country.
Individuals who wish to sell their gold item effectively need government permission in the form of a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the state security service, the Ministry of Interior said in a Facebook post.
Several vendors in the Gold Souq told Doha News this week that the law has been in place for several years and was introduced after police uncovered several efforts to unload stolen jewelry on vendors.
Police officers continue to conduct frequent surprise inspections on shops in the Gold Souq, particularly after a rash of burglaries, according to Assad Abbas, a manager at Zumurad Jewellery Shop.
Stores that fail to produce the proper paperwork can be fined and ordered shut, he added.
However, the consequences can be even more severe for those caught trading in pilfered jewelry.
Last month, Al Raya reported that a vendor was sentenced to six months in prison and fined QR10,000 for buying stolen gold after failing to verify the identity of the seller, the jewelry’s owner or obtain the original purchase receipt for the goods.
How to obtain an NOC
While Abbas said security officers in other Gulf countries will sometimes visit gold markets to process paperwork, obtaining an NOC in Qatar typically involves a trip to a police station or the Gold Permits Office within Souq Waqif, which is open from 7:30am until noon and 4pm to 8pm, Sunday through Thursday.
Requirements for obtaining an NOC include:
- Being at least 18 years old;
- Presenting the gold items that will be sold for inspection;
- Presenting the original Qatar ID or, in the case of visitors to the country, a passport of the gold owner;
- A receipt for the jewelry, if available. This is mandatory for men’s watches and gold coins;
- Gold can be sold on behalf of first and second-degree relatives. In these cases, the seller needs to bring a copy of the owner’s original ID card. A purchase receipt is required when one is selling jewelry on behalf of another person.
An NOC costs QR10, which must be paid for using a bank card, and can typically be obtained the same day.