MANDALAY DIVISION – Mandalay’s gold community has learned that the junta council is preparing to arrest and prosecute gold shops and gold smiths in Mandalay for allegedly importing and exporting illegal gold from abroad.
The Central Bank and General Administration Department of the junta council, which are part of the junta’s gold and currency market monitoring and enforcement committee alongside members of that committee, visited Mandalay on June 1 and 2 and found out that this was the case, the junta council announced.
The junta council has accused Mandalay’s gold shops of not only exporting and importing illegal gold, but also conducting illegal foreign exchange and has threatened to take action against them under the Anti-Money Laundering Act as well as the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
“Every time businesses are controlled and pressured by abuse of power, it is usual that they’d struggle to find a way out. If things are handled this harshly, it will only result in the collapse of businesses,” said a gold entrepreneur.
Gold traders said that gold transactions have been suspended since the last week of May because the junta council is looking for problems in the gold industry after the gold price has risen continuously.
Currently, one tikal (16.6 grams) of gold is around 31 lakh kyats. The Yangon Region Gold Industry Association under the junta council has set a reference price of 23,00,000 kyats per tikal of gold. These days, most of the gold shops in Yangon also sell gold at the price of 3,100,000 kyats per tikal and repurchase for around 29 lakh per tikal, according to the gold business community.