The official refrain about the alleged adulteration of gold deposits in the vaults of the central bank that it is a mere clerical error lacks credibility. Are we to believe that one of the most secure areas in the country and the correctness of its contents are left at the mercy to clerks only? Is there no further verification and periodic stocktaking of the vault? Why is it that we are still dependent on archaic means to keep stock of inventory such as gold, especially in light of an investigation by customs intelligence and directorate of the NBR which revealed that there are serious discrepancies in gold management? Are we to believe that there are no more “clerical errors” in the bank? Given that the BB has fallen foul of a major scam not so long ago where USD 81 million had been siphoned off, can we rest assured that this was a mere clerical error?
The random sampling of gold discs and rings by these agencies two years ago had, reportedly, found that they were not gold at all, but metal alloys. The directorate of NBR carried out that inspection and submitted the report to BB in January 2018 stating that the bank take remedial measures. The fact that alleged adulteration was taking place means that gold artefacts deposited in the BB vault were being siphoned off. This is not merely a clerical error and points to the fact that the bank officials have not done their job in safeguarding public property.
There should be a high-level probe into the matter. It is up to the Bangladesh Bank to overhaul the stocktaking system in the vault and introduce oversight measures that would secure the precious metals in the bank's possession.