The Enforcement Directorate is probing the involvement of bankers and bullion traders in the alleged conversion of black money into gold.
Several recent reports suggested that black money hoarders could have made a beeline to convert their unaccounted wealth into purchase of gold, especially, post the note ban,
The investigative agency was alarmed over sharp spike in import of gold in November.
The ED collected nationwide data on gold imports in November 2016 which reveals total gold imports that month stood at 66,000 kg. Of this, 25,000 kg sold in Delhi, 15,000 kg in Ahmedabad, 7,300 kg in Hyderabad, 7,000kg in Chennai, 6,200 kg Bangalore, 2,550 kg in Kolkata and 1,250 kg in Mumbai, reports Times of India.
Data shows that of the total gold imported in Delhi, 7,300 kg was brought by Axis Bank alone. Gold can be imported into the country mostly through registered banks and private firms.
Recently in Delhi, two Axis Bank officials were arrested for aiding some people convert their scrapped currency into gold.
“In the four hours between the Prime Minister’s announcement and midnight on November 8, gold was selling in the informal markets at Rs 50,000 to 55,000 per 10 grams when the normal price is around Rs 30,000,”News18 reported quoting Ravi Singh, Research Head at SMC Commodities Trade.
Earlier, a Kalbadevi-based bullion trader who was raided told the ED that he sold 600 kg gold in November after demonetisation and produced documents to support his claim.
But the ED was not convinced, as it did not match the city's total gold imports in November. He was unable to produce gold purchase receipts, which raised suspicion.
Also around Rs 200 crore deposited into his account came from various shell companies. The trader claimed he sold them gold in exchange of money but was unable to provide customers' details. The ED also found he had shifted most of the money out of his account and it had only Rs 8 crore.
Officials suspect that bullion traders had bought less gold from institutions but forged records to show increased sales. The ED also suspects that bullion traders collected a large chunk of unaccounted demonetised currency at a huge discount.