New Delhi: Over 100 kg of gold, which was seized in a raid, has gone missing from the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The incident came to light on Friday when the High Court of Madras ordered the police to investigate the disappearance of over 100 kg of gold worth Rs 43 crore from CBI custody.
The 100 kg gold was a part of 400.5 kg gold was seized by the CBI in the form of bars and ornaments during the raids at Surana Corporation Ltd in Chennai in 2012. It was kept in safe and secure enclosures of Surana under lock and seal of CBI.
The CBI said that it had handed over the 72 keys of the locker to Chennai principal special court for CBI cases and no date of handing over the keys was mentioned in the documents. The agency also claimed that the weight of the gold was 400.5 kg during the seizure but the weight was varied while handing over to the liquidator, appointed to settle the debt case between Surana and State Bank of India (SBI) and this was the reason for the difference in weight.
However, the court refused to consider the report and ordered the SP to investigate the case within six months. The liquidator then approached the high court for which the warrant had been released on Friday.
During the prosecution, the CBI blamed the Mineral and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) officials of India for showing undue favour of Surana in the import of gold and silver and eventually concluded that the seized gold was not a case of corruption and impact and had imported the same in violation of Foreign Trade Policy. Hence a separate case has been filed in 2013 and the CBI requested to shift the recovered gold to a fresh case.
In 2015, the CBI filed a closure report claiming that there is no sufficient evidence. The CBI Special Court accepted the same and ordered to transfer the recovered gold to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The order was later set aside by the High Court of Madras after Surana opposed the appeal.
In December 2019, the National Company Law Tribunal, which had been placed before the SBI, ordered the allocation of the gold to the six banks owed money by Surana.
When the CBI opened the security enclosures in February this year to hand over gold in the presence of banks, they found that gold was 103.864 kg less.