Giving weight to the suspicions that a good part of the black money stashed in the form of currency was converted into gold bars and ornaments, jewellers in the country sold 15 tonnes of gold in the night just after the surprise announcement of demonetization on 8 November. The gold is estimated to cost₹ 5,000 crores!

 

Reports quoting Surendra Mehta, national secretary of India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA), said that customers pumped demonetized notes of ₹500 and ₹1, 000 just after the announcement and bought gold bars and ornaments to the tune of 15 tonnes, roughly a fifth of the monthly average sales. He also claimed that the bulk purchase took place between 8 pm on 8 November and 2-3 am the next day. 

 

Putting the blame on six lakh jewellers across the country for accepting demonetized notes after the currency ban, IBJA leader said that it brought shame on law abiding jewellers too. 

 

On the night of 8 November, numerous jewellery shops functioned very late into the night triggering suspicions of money laundering.  Some shops allegedly engaged in secret business throughout the night to help black money hoarders to change unaccounted money into gold. The Central Customs Department officials had issued notices to jewellers after reports of illegal transactions came to light.  


 
Some shops in Kochi had sales to the tune of ₹ two to ₹ five crores, on the night of demonetization. Usually, the jewellers down shutters by 7.30 pm. But on that night the sales persons, who had left home after the day's work, were asked to return for the convenience of some 'special customers' and the gold sales continued till next morning, reports had said. 

 

Following tip-offs, the Customs Department had issued notices to these jewellers and had examined the CCTV visuals from the shops.