If you're going to counterfeit something, why think small? This article discusses the counterfeiting of billion dollar bearer bonds. -Editor Italy's financial police, Guardia Italiana di Finanza, have arrested two Japanese citizens as they attempted to smuggle $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds in the false bottom of a suitcase by train into Switzerland, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.
The bonds appeared to include 249 certificates U.S. Federal Reserve bonds worth $500 million each plus various other U.S. government securities worth a billion dollars each, including what are known as "Kennedy Bonds" bearing a portrait of President John Kennedy on the front and a shuttle launch on the reverse.
"Italian authorities have not yet determined whether the bonds are real or fake," Asia News reported in breaking the story, "but if they are real the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history."
"If they are fake," Asia News continued, "the matter would be even more mind-boggling because the quality of the counterfeit work is such that the fake bonds are undistinguishable from the real ones."
The Guardia di Finanzia indicated Italian authorities were working to determine whether the bonds and the documentation accompanying them were authentic.
No determination had yet been made whether the bonds were counterfeit, nor was any other information released about the identity or background of the two Japanese men apprehended in the incident.
To read the complete article, see: Smuggled: $134 billion in U.S. bonds (www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=101134)
The Financial Times published a followup on the story Friday. -Editor Whether the men are really Japanese, as their passports declare, is not entirely clear, but Italian and US secret services working together soon concluded that the bills and accompanying bank documents were most probably counterfeit, representing the latest handiwork of the Italian Mafia.
Few details have been revealed beyond a June 4 statement by the Italian finance police announcing the seizure of 249 US Treasury bills, each of $500m, and 10 "Kennedy" bonds, used as inter-government payments, of $1bn each. The men were apparently being tailed by the Italian authorities.
Yesterday the mystery deepened as an Italian blog quoted Colonel Rodolfo Mecarelli of the Como provincial finance police as saying the two men had been released. The colonel and police headquarters in Rome both declined to respond to questions from the Financial Times.
"They are all fraudulent, it's obvious. We don't even have paper securities outstanding for that value,'' said Mckayla Braden, senior adviser for public affairs at the Bureau of Public Debt at the US Treasury department. "This type of scam has been going on for years.''
The Treasury has not issued physical Treasury bonds since the 1980s - they are handled electronically - though it still issues savings bonds in paper format.
To read the complete article, see: Trail of fake Treasury bills leads to Mafia (www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4d6e4418-5c6a-11de-aea3-00144feabdc0.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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