Tanti Bazar in Old Dhaka has become a hub of smuggled and looted gold as a syndicate has long been involved in illegal business of the precious metal there, according to police sources.
A number of gold houses of the area have been buying the gold bars and ornaments smuggled from abroad and looted by different robbery gangs across the country for a long time, they said.
These are Kamal Bunia Store, New Khaza Jewellers, Mursalin Jewellers, Sumon Bullion Store and Razia Bullion Store.
Imam Hossain, additional deputy inspector general (DIG, Dhaka Metro) of the CID, told the Daily Sun that the gold houses bought gold and silver ornaments looted from Rajlaxmi Jewellers at Rapa Plaza in Dhanmondi on February 8 and 17 gold shops at Nayarhat in Ashulia of Dhaka on September 7.
He said immediately after buying the gold ornaments, the owners of the gold houses melted those aiming to avoid legal action.
The officer said the dishonest businessmen will be brought to book soon.
The sources said accompanying the robber gangs, a number of gold traders of the area went to rob gold ornaments at different places. Their job was to identify the real gold ornaments.
“Gold traders Sabuj Roy and Abdur Rahim accompanied the robbers during the robbery at Rapa Plaza. Sabuj was also involved in robbery at Nayarhat,” Imam Hossain said.
The sources in police said the owners of some gold houses had some other businessmen’s gold ornaments robbed by their hired robbers.
Khorshed Alam, superintendent of police of the Police Bureau of Investigation’s Dhaka district unit, told the Daily Sun that Suresh Chandra Halder, a gold trader of Tanti Bazar, had another businessman Aurjun Halder robbed by some hired robbers at Savar on the outskirts of the capital on January 7.
He said Aurjun Halder, owner of Sonali Gold House, was going to Rajbari by a bus to deliver gold ornaments worth Tk 1.14 crore to Palash Jewellers and Rajlaxmi Jewellers.
On the way, the hired robbers, who were later arrested, took away the ornaments, the SP said.
During a recent visit to Tanti Bazar, this correspondent, posing as gold seller, talked to a number of staff and owners of gold houses and asked them whether gold ornaments and gold bars could be sold without documents.
They said no documents would require in this regard.
One of them, Faruk Ahmed, owner of FR Gold House, said, “You need no documents to sell gold bars or ornaments. We’ve long been buying gold bars and ornaments in such a way.”
Contacted, Enamul Haque Khan, president of Bangladesh Jewellers Samity, told the Daily Sun that no one could sell gold bars and ornaments and other such valuable things without proper documents as per the existing rules. “And the NID photocopies of the sellers are also required during the sale,” he said.