Customs Intelligence Investigation Directorate (CIID) began raids at the Apan Jewellers outlet in Suvastu Imam Tower at Gulshan 2, Dhaka, on Monday and seized 286kg of gold and 61g of diamonds due to lack of requisite documents.
The gold and diamonds seized have a total estimated value of Tk32.18cr.
The customs officials had unsealed the store and were making an inventory of the goods in the presence of all concerned, including members of Bangladesh Jewellers Samity, said CIID Joint Director Shafiur Rahman.
CIID Director General Dr Moinul Khan said that the failure of the Apan Jewellers owners to show proof of legal import was primary reason that the gold and diamonds were thought to have been obtained through illicit means.
"Till today (Monday) they haven't produced all of the documents. The owners have been summoned to the customs office on May 17, and if they do not bring the documents by then, legal action will be taken," The DG said.
Earlier on Sunday, the CIID launched raids at five Apan Jewellers outlets across Dhaka. The outlets in question were in the capital's Gulshan, Uttara, Mouchak and Dhanmondi areas. The raid at Gulshan's Suvastu Imam Tower outlet could not be conducted at the time as the store closed, and it was hence sealed off.
“We are raiding the outlets for information regarding sources of capital for their gold and diamond businesses as well as payable VAT, duties and taxes,” the CIID joint director had said.
CIID suspects Apan Jewellers is non-transparent over its gold and diamond businesses, as no legal import of diamond was made in the country in the last five years.
Recently, CIID decided to start an inquiry about the finances of Apan Jewellers’ owner Dildar Ahmed and his son Shafaat Ahmed following the disclosure of allegations against Shafaat and four of his associates of raping two female university students at Banani’s The Raintree Hotel on March 28.
During the alleged rape, the girls were beaten whenever they protested. Shafaat is claimed to have said things like “I have been accused in 20 murder cases and I am untouchable.” The boasts followed with things such as “I am the biggest smuggler in Bangladesh.”