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Jewellers down shutters in Kovai over seizures by squads
A day after flying squad officials seized 149 kg of gold bars, more than 200 jewellery shops in Coimbatore affiliated to the Coimbatore Gold Jewels Manufacturers Association (CJMA) downed shutters on Saturday.
A team of flying squad officials intercepted a van near Meena Estate late on Friday and seized the gold bars, estimated to be worth Rs 44.5 crore, kept inside.
Stating that the frequent seizure of gold by election officials disrupted their business, the CJMA called for a protest on Saturday.
Subsequently, the jewellers met district collector K Rajamani and urged him to release the seized gold bars. However, the collector informed them that the gold could be given back only if the Income Tax Department and Customs officials give a no-objection certificate after scrutinising the documents.
Association president B Venkatraman said that the seized gold bars were taken from the State Trading Corporation premises in Puliakulam. “The gold, belonging to seven jewellery shops and traders, were transported by a private agency with proper and valid documents. Despite presenting the documents to them, the officials seized the gold,” he said, adding that the gold bars were purchased by availing loans from banks.
“If the gold was to be held for four days, it would cause a delay in making jewels and delivering the same to customers. The traders will suffer a loss of several lakhs. It would also lead to a revenue loss to the government,” he said.