CIID asks BB to auction seized gold regularly, ease import

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 18 May 2017, 22:44:47

CIID asks BB to auction seized gold regularly, ease import

The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) has written to the Bangladesh Bank, asking it to regularly auction gold seized in drives and ease the process of importing the precious metal.

A report said CIID Director General Moinul Khan said on Wednesday that copies of the letter were sent to the central bank governor, internal resources secretary, National Board of Revenue chairman, and Bangladesh Jewellers' Association (Bajus) president.

The CIID said the central bank has not held any auction of seized gold since 2008 despite rules to do so regularly, and it has led the seized gold to remain piled up in the central bank.

It said the jewellers claimed they have not been able to source gold from the local market for a long time, which is causing losses to their business.

The issue has come to the fore as the CIID is investigating allegations that Apan Jewellers was involved in gold smuggling.

The allegations surfaced after a case was started against five, including Safat Ahmed, the son of an owner of Apan Jewellers, on charges of raping two university students at a Dhaka hotel.

Five shops of the business were sealed off and over 500kg gold ornaments were 'seized' in CIID raids.

After being quizzed by the CIID on Wednesday, Safat's father told the media, "If my shops are sealed (for not producing papers), then every shop across Bangladesh has to be closed."

He said that he had wanted to make guidelines on jewellery business in Bangladesh when he was a secretary at the jewellers' association, but he could not. He did not say why he did not succeed.

"There should have guidelines, accountability," he said.
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