No 'gold loot' but recording mistake at BB vault: Quader

No ‘gold loot’ but recording mistake at BB vault: Quader

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Gazipur, July 18 – Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said there had been no ‘gold heist’ from Bangladesh Bank vault.“Without examining the authenticity of who said what, they (BNP) said that ornaments and gold were looted from the Bangladesh Bank vault. But nothing like this (gold heist) has happened. It was a mistake of recording,” he said.
He was talking to reporters after a coordination meeting on ensuring hassle-free eid journey during Eid-ul-Azha at Tongi, Gazipur at noon.
About the bomb explosion in Rajshahi ahead of city polls, he said BNP which is apprehending a defeat in the upcoming city corporation election in Rajshahi launched the bomb attack.
“BNP has been defeated ahead of the polls after its failure in Khulna and Gazipur city corporation elections. Awami League is confident about its win. So, why should AL go for the bombing?”
To control traffic jam on Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways during the upcoming eid, he urged the engineers to temporarily postpone the road development works 10 days ahead of Eid. – UNB
Our staff reporter wrote: Echoing the statement issued by the Bangladesh Bank officials about the purity of gold stored in its vault, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan Wednesday said the gold is “all right” and a “clerical mistake” has created the confusion.
Mannan said those while answering questions of journalists after having a meeting with top officials from the BB, Finance Ministry, National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) of NBR at the Secretariat.
The State Minister called a meeting with those high officials to discuss the allegation of finding adulterated gold in the BB vault.
Earlier on Tuesday, officials from Bangladesh Bank too refuted the allegation that gold in its custody was adulterated—as per a report published by daily Prothom Alo —and said the confusion about the purity of gold had conjured up because of some unwanted “clerical error.”
At an emergency briefing on Tuesday at the BB headquarter, the central bank’s executive director SM Rabiul Hassan said the purity of the gold [bar]was 40 percent, but it was mistakenly written 80 percent.
“It was a clerical error. It happened because of similarity between the number 4 in Bangla and the number 8 in English,” said Rabiul.
Backing up BB statement, State Minister Mannan said error like that might happen while performing government task. “There was obviously some sort of bureaucratic error there. We would inquire further.”
Mannan said he would brief the finance minister AMA Muhit after his return to the country on the issue. The finance minister will then decide whether this issue needs further investigation, MA Mannan added.
Earlier, a Prothom Alo report published on Tuesday said gold weighing almost 1000 kilograms kept in Bangladesh Bank’s vault has been adulterated. The daily reported that basing on an investigation by the customs intelligence.
The customs intelligence report said the 22-carat gold has turned into 18-carat gold as other metals were mixed with it after the central bank received gold discs and rings over a period of time.
The investigators of the CIID examined 963 kg of gold out of about 1600 kg kept at the central bank’s vault, on the basis of random sampling. The directorate, which prepared a report based on inspection at the vault in January-April 2017 and submitted it in January 2018, sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank seeking necessary action.
The BB officials however later claimed that no incident of gold adulteration took place in the central bank.
Obaidul Quader, Secretary General of the Ruling Awami League yesterday said: “no incident of gold theft has taken place in Bangladesh Bank.”
He said there is a tendency among the opposition parties to magnify any issue and vilify the government. “Without verifying anything, they start to claim that gold is being theft from BB vault. That didn’t happen.”
Quader was referring BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s statement who yesterday said: “the malpractice in the country has reached to such level that gold stored in central bank’s vault too get stolen.”

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