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Staff Correspondent
Denying Customs Intelligence allegations of irregularities and adulteration in the gold reserves at the central bank vault, state minister for finance Abdul Mannan has said, the government will look into ‘whatever happened there.’
The state minister made the comment after an emergency meeting at the secretariat on Wednesday.
The meeting was called a day after a report on gold scam in the Bangladesh Bank vault was published in a national daily, citing an inspection conducted by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) at the Central Bank.
About security at the Bank, Mannan said, “there is a six-tier measure to ensure security of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) vault. Even, the BB governor must take permission from two to three places, if he wants to visit the vault”.
Fazle Kabir, Bangladesh Bank Governor, Md Eunusur Rahman, secretary to the Bank and Financial Institutions Division, and Shahidul Islam, director general of CIID, attended the meeting.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bangladesh Bank at a press briefing denied the allegation of a gold heist inside the BB vault, and adulteration.
There is no irregularity found in the gold, according to central bank executive director Rabiul Hassan, and general manager Awlad Hossain Chowdhury.
They made the assertion demand at an emergency press conference Tuesday after coming to know of the report published in a national daily.
“The purity of the gold kept by the Customs detectives was 40 percent, but was recorded at 80 percent due to the similarity between the number 4 in Bangla, and 8 in English,” Awlad said.
A registered goldsmith from Shokh Jewellers made the mistake, he claimed.
“The mistake Bangladesh Bank did was merely a clerical error in recording the purity of the gold,” Awlad said.
The CIID in its alleged complaints said, there is difference in weight of the gold. According to them, the joint investigation report also contains signatures of the central bank officials
The CIID found the anomalies while inspecting randomly sampled gold from the 963 kg deposit in the central bank’s vault from January to April last year, according to the newspaper report.
CIID kept gold coins and rings weighing 3.3kg in the vault on Aug 23, 2015, but during the inspection, it found adulteration of the gold, which caused the state a loss of over Tk 11.1 million, the report added.
The state suffered another loss of over Tk 19 million by showing 22 carat gold as 18 carat, the report claims.
The CIID inspection report was sent to the central bank via the National Board of Revenue.
Awlad also denied the claim saying, different machines in measuring the purity of gold cause weight difference.
They have sent their reply to the CIID, Awlad, who is in charge of the vault, said.
“We had proposed measuring the gold by machines at the Atomic Energy Commission, but the customs intelligence conceded when we made it clear to them,” he said.
The central bank informed NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan about the issue on July 11, Awlad said.