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New BBC World Service and CBC podcast tells the story of one of the biggest goldmining frauds of all time

New BBC World Service and CBC podcast tells the story of one of the biggest goldmining frauds of all time

Press Release · London, UK · via BBC ·

The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam is the gripping story of what was thought to be the biggest gold discovery in history… until it wasn’t.

A co-production from the BBC World Service and CBC, the new nine-part podcast is hosted by Suzanne Wilton and launches on 19 May 2024.

When Canadian mining company Bre-X announced to the world that it had found a large deposit of gold, deep in the jungles of Indonesia in 1995, stock prices soared, as investors worldwide fought for their stake. But not everything was as it seemed.

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The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam follows the real-life events that led to the reported death of Bre-X’s chief geologist, after mysteriously falling from a helicopter, deep in the Indonesian jungle.

Thousands invested in the scam, and as the billion dollar discovery was found to be fake, some investors lost millions, while those who’d invested their life savings lost everything, devastating lives across the world.

Nearly three decades later, no one has been held accountable. Now, following fresh leads, Suzanne Wilton brings new information to light about what really happened. Who was to blame, and will the whole truth ever be revealed?

From the jungles of Indonesia to small town Alberta, Canada, this series explores the lengths some people will go to in the pursuit of getting rich, and how greed can obliterate the truth.

Host Suzanne Wilton, says: “I have been chasing Bre-X ghosts for 25 years, trying to unravel the biggest gold hoax in history. I travelled to the Borneo jungle, to Manila, to small town Alberta in search of answers. In this series, I revisit this story, uncovering new revelations about the mysterious death of Bre-X geologist Michael de Guzman, and the scam that saw ordinary people lose their life savings, and other investors lose millions overnight, which for some was too big a loss to bear.”

Kate Bissell, Producer, says: “The story of Bre-X and the biggest ever gold find is full of mystery and intrigue. Some say, even a curse. At the start of production, an interviewee warned us, ‘some stories will always remain a mystery, this may be one of them.’ While investigating the podcast for over a year, several key witnesses agreed to speak for the first time, generating very surprising new information, questioning what really happened to Michael de Guzman.”

All nine episodes of The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam will be available as a boxset on BBC Sounds, CBC Listen, and also on BBC Podcasts Premium for listeners outside the UK, from Sunday 19 May. Episodes will be released weekly on most other podcast apps and platforms. The series will air weekly on BBC World Service radio from Wednesday 24 July.

The Six Billion Dollar Gold Scam is produced by BBC Scotland Productions for CBC and the BBC World Service.

It is the third podcast collaboration between the BBC World Service and CBC. The award-winning series, Love, Janessa, released last year, is about how stolen images of an adult entertainment star were used to con victims in a romance scam. While the hugely popular, Hollywood Exiles, released earlier this year, tells how the FBI pursued Charlie Chaplin, during the ‘Red Scare’. His granddaughter, Oona Chaplin, is the host.

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