Economic Crime Intelligence
6000 BILLIONS FAKE US BONDS
Feb 17, 12 8:57 PM Author drandreagalli
Italian police on Friday 17.02.2012 seized counterfeit United States bonds to the tune of $6 trillion stored in fake Federal Reserve security boxes in Switzerland, arresting eight people in Italy on charges of international financial fraud. The arrests took place in the southern region of Basilicata, where the probe was based, as well as Lazio, Lombardy and Piedmont. Police said they had broken up “an organisation specializing in international financial transactions guaranteed by counterfeit US bonds”. Six trillion dollars is more than twice the size of Italy’s national debt, or half of the US national dept.
Mysteriously, the bonds were uncovered alongside copies of the Treaty of Versailles rolled inside lead cylinders. Investigators said the illegal organisation may have been planning to offer the bonds to investors in emerging economies or to mainstream brokers. The probe stems from an investigation into a loan-sharking mafia group near Potenza with international contacts.
The first breakthrough in the case came in September 2010 in Rome, where Carabinieri seized US bonds with a face value of $500 million in the home of a person under investigation. The alleged falseness of the bonds, bearing an issuance date of 1934, was certified by Federal Reserve and American embassy experts in Rome. The three security boxes were moved from Hong Kong to a Swiss trust fund in Zurich in January 2007, police said.
This kind of fraud is not new, but a recent phenomenon. Already in June 2009 such a fraud made a brief entry into the public conscious when two Japanese carrying $134.5 billion worth of government bonds were detained in Italy. In 2010 a similar seizure of $2’000 billion value happened in the Philippines. Apparently there were in 2011 a large international meeting scheduled in Washington to deal with ongoing financial war these bonds are an integral part of. There were some rumors that such bonds were not really fakes, but a result of historically driven overvaluations of the last 60 years.