Bangladesh Jewellers Samity (BAJUS) has threatened to go on strike for an indefinite period from June 11 if the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate fails to return the seized gold from Apan Jewellers within 48 hours.
BAJUS Vice President Enamul Haque Khan issued the ultimatum on Wednesday afternoon while briefing reporters after a meeting at the association's office.
Terming the seizure of gold from Apan Jewellers as state terrorism, Enamul demanded the resignation of CIID’s Director General Dr Moinul Khan.
The jewellers' association also called to keep all jewellery shops across the country closed on June 11.
They also planned to give a memorandum to the finance minister and commerce minister on June 12 and a grand-rally on June 15 with participation of all gold traders in the country.
Enamul said the programmes have been called to press home their demands for implementing a gold trading policy and in protest of the threats issued to gold traders.
He also urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to intervene in this issue for the betterment of 28 lakh gold traders in the country.
On Tuesday, a five-member body was formed to return Apan Jewellers' customers their ornaments. The body is comprised of CIID Joint Commissioner Shafiur Rahman, Deputy Director Md Zakir Hossain, Deputy Director SM Shariful Islam and representatives from Bangladesh Jewellers Association and Apan Jewellers.
CIID Director General Dr Moinul Khan said that they have a list of 389 customers who ordered or booked ornaments from Apan Jewellers.
“We gave ornaments to 85 customers as per their order or booking and the rest will be given their jewellery within 10 days,” he added.
On Sunday, the customs intelligence department deposited 13.5 maunds (approximately 503.88kg) of gold and 427 grams of diamonds from Apan Jewellers to Bangladesh Bank’s vault as there were no legal documents for them.
Five CIID teams seized the gold and diamonds from Apan Jewellers’ Gulshan DCC Market, Gulshan Avenue, Uttara, Shimanto Square and Mouchak outlets on May 14 and May 15.
The raids were conducted after Apan Jewellers Owner Dildar Ahmed’s son Shafat Ahmed became the prime accused in the much-talked-about Banani rape case.
Apart from Shafat, Abdul Halim alias Nayem Ashraf, Shadman Sakif, Shafat’s driver Billal Hossain and bodyguard Rahmat Ali are also accused in the case filed by two private university students who were raped on March 28 at Raintree Hotel at Banani of Dhaka.