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Minister: BB gold scam report baseless

  • Published at 02:56 pm July 18th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:45 am July 19th, 2018
Illegal gold bars seized by customs officials are deposited in the Bangladesh Bank vault Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The state minister for finance says the government will investigate the allegations

State Minister for Finance and MA Mannan has refuted the customs intelligence’s report that alleges irregularities regarding gold stored in the Bangladesh Bank’s vault.

“I assure you that the government will look into the matter if there has been any irregularity,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

In a report submitted to the Bangladesh Bank earlier this year, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) said gold coins and rings, deposited in the central bank in 2015, were tested and found to be made of 80% pure gold at that time. But when the CIID team tested the same rings and coins in 2017, they found 46.66% gold in them.

Mannan rejected the possibility that the gold items had been replaced with low-quality duplicates. “It’s not possible. There is a six-layer security system protecting the vault. Not even the central bank governor can enter the vault without following proper procedures,” he said.

He assured that the gold had not been pilfered or tampered with, and the confusion over adulteration was created due to clerical error. 

Also Read- CIID report reveals shocking irregularities in Bangladesh Bank vault

“There is nothing to be worried about. Such clerical mistakes may occur when two organizations work together. All the gold is fine. People can go in and check for themselves. The door of the Bangladesh Bank is open to them,” he was quoted by UNB.

However, the state minister also said the ministry was not taking the allegations lightly. 

“The whole system will be reviewed and action will be taken if any negligence is found,” he said.

In a separate event, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader also said there had been no irregularity with the gold in the central bank, criticizing BNP for saying there had been a “gold heist” in the central bank. 

“Without examining the authenticity of who said what, they [the BNP] said gold items had been looted from the Bangladesh Bank vault. But nothing like this has happened. It was a mistake in the recording,” he told reporters after a meeting in Gazipur.