At the time, Reuters and The Times of London both reported that according to unnamed British 'public officials', the delays were being caused by the difficulty and cost of obtaining insurance for the gold shipment back to Venezuela, and also due to "standard measures to prevent money-laundering".
As I explained in a BullionStar article on 15 November titled 'Bank of England refuses to return 14 tonnes of gold to Venezuela', the explanations given to Reuters and the Times for the withdrawal delays were completely bogus, and that the real reason for blocking the BCV gold withdrawal was undoubtedly US and UK joint government interventions to stall the withdrawal. As I wrote at the time:
"The reasons put forward by official sources in the Reuters and Times articles for why Venezuela can't withdraw its gold from the Bank of England are clearly bogus. The more logical and likely explanation is that the US, through the White House, US Treasury and State Department have been liaising with the British Foreign office and HM Treasury to put pressure on the Bank of England to delay and push back on Venezuela's gold withdrawal request."