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This would make a great movie. Two Japanese couriers are stopped and searched trying to cross into Switzerland from Italy with 134 Billion in US bearer bonds. The bonds were hidden in a secret compartment of a suitcase.

Yes, officials are determining if these are counterfeit or legitimate. If real, Italy stands to collect 40 Billion dollars as that is the penalty on the 134 billion amount.

These bonds (#249 500 million notes) are bearer bonds,that is like a check drawn on the U.S. Treasury,payable to the holder.

You just can't make this stuff up,but this story has had almost no exposure by the MSM in this country.


US Government securities seized

Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.


Japan probes two seized with undeclared bonds

Japan is investigating reports two of its citizens were detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland.


Japan says faith in US Treasuries unshakable

Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said his government is confident about the outlook for U.S. Treasuries, signaling the second-biggest foreign holder of the securities will keep buying them amid record sales.

"We have complete trust in the fact that the U.S. views its strong-dollar policy as fundamental," Yosano, 70, said in an interview in Tokyo on June 10 before attending a Group of Eight meeting of finance ministers starting today in Italy. "So our trust in U.S. Treasuries is absolutely unshakable."

Flying under the radar the Japanese government has started damage control,fearing that these bonds might be real and limit the questions that could be raised. Is Japan dumping treasuries? Not likely, but this story is intriguing non the less.

The tin foil hats are alive and well just thing about what is going on here.

Is North Korea counterfeiting?

There are only three foreign countries that hold this large amount of US bonds, Japan,Russia,and China.

Strangely this 134.5 billion amount matches the available funds in TARP.

I think this is a case for 007.

Italy’s financial police Seize $134.5 billion US Bonds on the Border between Italy and Switzerland: Smuggling Or Counterfeit

Update: According to the official press release by the Italian police these bonds were issued by the US Federal Reserve Bank.


Italian Police Press Release

Open Letter To Timothy Geithner

No doubt you are already aware of the wild stories circulating in response to the news that two Japanese nationals were caught trying to smuggle some $134 billion in U.S. Government bearer bonds into Switzerland from Italy. Since the Secret Service seems a bit slow in addressing the issue (What's the problem? Haven't you hired an undersecretary of Secret Service motivation yet? Couldn't you get Agent Frank Horrigan out of retirement and send him on special assignment or something?) and the Italians change their story about the instruments almost as often as they change governments, we thought you might benefit from some of our analysis.

Originally posted to Parisgnome on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  #250? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, IreGyre, sulthernao

    These bonds (#249 500 million notes)

    Is it me or is that number a bit suspicious? Anyone else have the feeling that bond number 250 has gone walkabout?

  •  The problem is how do you contextualize it? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Only one of two possibilities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Either they're stolen or counterfeit.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:24:38 PM PDT

  •  I thought people only used Bearer Bonds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, seattledoglover

    in Heist movies.

    "You Don't Do More With Less. You Do Less with Less. That's Why it's called Less." David Simon

    by Larry Madill on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:29:42 PM PDT

  •  Question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moodyx, skohayes

    US Treasury bearer bonds are like checks. The thing is, where do you go to cash them? A bank? Wouldn't going to a bank and opening an account with a single $500 million US Treasury bearer bond (let alone 249 of them) raise some eyebrows and get the attention of international law enforcement agencies like Interpol, not to mention the US Treasury?

    These are instruments held by institutional and government investors. The number of individuals who could buy these types of bonds is very small and they are all well known. If you're not one of those entities or individuals and you try to negotiate one of them it's going to draw a LOT of attention.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:35:57 PM PDT

    •  Black or gray market maybe? (0+ / 0-)

      Resell the bonds to a private investor or institution for pennies on the dollar? $134 billion is a lot of pennies.

      But that's just speculation on my part.

      "You Don't Do More With Less. You Do Less with Less. That's Why it's called Less." David Simon

      by Larry Madill on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:39:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Highly unlikely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The instruments are serialized and while anyone holding one can cash it, the US Government knows who the original purchasers were and can trace them and if stolen they'd know which ones were stolen and the amount.

        I'm leaning towards counterfeit.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 02:03:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Counterfeits seem more likely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, Cali Techie, sulthernao

          "You Don't Do More With Less. You Do Less with Less. That's Why it's called Less." David Simon

          by Larry Madill on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 02:03:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It now appears to be a strong possibility (0+ / 0-)

            According to Bloomberg, the Italian authorities believe them to be fake documents.

            The bonds, with a face value of more than $134 billion, are probably forgeries, Colonel Rodolfo Mecarelli of the Guardia di Finanza in Como, Italy, said today. If the notes are genuine, the pair would be the U.S. government’s fourth-biggest creditor, ahead of the U.K. with $128 billion of U.S. debt and just behind Russia, which is owed $138 billion.

            They also have origination dates of 1934, which is impossible because the US never issued bearer bonds in those denominations at that time.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 04:14:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      I was under the impression that the US banned bearer bonds decades ago because the IRS had no way to collect the taxes on the interest.

      Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and co-operation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. D. Eisenhower

      by Swatmacher on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:46:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're exactly right and the bonds were (5+ / 0-)

      supposedly headed for Switzerland. Now I'm sure that a swiss banker would have a eyebrow raised or two. Could a forgery pass (249) by the Swiss? lol.

      This sum and these denominations are so great and rare that only a known enitity or person of great wealth could be involved.

      Of course if you told me a pallet of 10 billion dollars would leave the NY Federal Reserve and go to Iraq with no strings,I would say no way!

      •  Even the Swiss Bankers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        probably would have noticed. They may be discrete, but they aren't idiots. Those bearer bonds would have been verified before acceptance. That alone would have alerted the US Government and Interpol because that's who the bank would have gone to in order to verify they were valid instruments.

        $500 million is a LOT of money even to governments.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 02:08:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yakuza. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Some people are going to lose more than fingers.  This is close to their entire treasury.

      Best Wishes, Demena Left/Right: -8.38; Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.36

      by Demena on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 07:07:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Odd that this story has received (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Parisgnome

    so little coverage here. You're right, it "would make a great movie," and would also sell newspapers, or draw viewers. Seems counter-intuitive that it receives so little coverage.

    You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

    by Opakapaka on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 01:47:30 PM PDT

  •  This is something else. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for posting this diary because I have not heard a peep about this.

  •  from bloomberg (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Catte Nappe

    Italian Police Ask SEC to Authenticate Seized U.S. Treasuries.  

    The bonds, with a face value of more than $134 billion, are probably forgeries, Colonel Rodolfo Mecarelli of the Guardia di Finanza...

    ...Such high denominations would not have existed in 1934, the purported issue date of the notes, Mecarelli said. Moreover, the "Kennedy" classification of the bonds doesn’t appear to exist, he said.

  •  can't be real: only 5.2 billion $ worth exist (0+ / 0-)

    The US Treasury has not issued any bearer bonds since 1982, and there are only about five billon dollars (face value) of the old bear bonds still outstanding.

    Here is a picture of one of them:

    Some are owned by collectors of (very expensive) historical documents.

    I don't believe there are any material amount that the US government does not know about.

  •  Geithner G8 Finance Minister with Japan,Russia (0+ / 0-)
  •  Bonds could be real (2+ / 0-)

    e of the Italian state as a punishment in itself require. For comparison: The Italian defense budget for 2008 amounted to around 29 billion euros.
    Discovered, ten so-called Kennedy-bonds to one billion dollars (715 million euros) and 249 U.S. government bonds with a nominal value of 500 million U.S. dollars each (about 358 million euros). The men of the "Dogana Como-Chiasso" found the valuable papers on 3 June in the double bottom of a suitcase. The train traveling towards Switzerland owners - the information after two Japanese over 50 - have been provisionally arrested. It is forbidden to amounts in excess of 10 000 euros in non-EU countries which are without them at customs indicated.

    "As to the authenticity of the Kennedy-Bonds is concerned, we still have doubts, but the U.S. government bonds worth some 358 million euros seem credible. They are made of filigree paper of excellent quality, "said Mecarelli. Moreover, the papers an extensive bank documentation in the original. The authenticity test, but go further. The Guardia di Finanza "investigating together with the American secret service.

    The smuggling scandal are still many puzzling. Although the catch Zöllner on the Swiss border smugglers often with huge monetary values. Cash couriers with hidden notes and even gold bars are often called it. In the case of securities at this level but the experience showed that it mostly involved counterfeits. The total amount of U.S. bonds seized was also highly unique. The Italian customs searched previously counterfeit securities with up to a billion dollars in value.

    Mysterious is the role of the two Asians. "We have the two men interrogated. They have their statements and are deposited in the moment again at large, "said Mecarelli. More told the colonel not - with reference to the ongoing investigations. It is, however, according to Italian media reports rather unusual that at the Italian border with Switzerland Japanese smugglers arrested.

    German article

  •  Interesting thoughts on this story (0+ / 0-)
  •  For Tin Foil Lovers (0+ / 0-)

    Treasury Gate


           Treasurygate, a scandal involving huge amounts of money in
    certificates of obligation on the Federal Reserve, Swiss and Japanese
    banks, the existence of which is denied by the big banks and government,
    was the subject on the April 1 broadcast of The SPOTLIGHT's nightly
    call-in talk forum, Radio Free America, with host Tom Valentine.  Thomas
    Buckley, an oilman from Amarillo, Texas, has filed a lawsuit against
    the Fed and the U.S. treasury--the suit was filed February 16, and
    the deadline for the Fed and government response is April 16.

           An edited transcript of Buckley's story follows: - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

           Through my connections in the oil and gas business, I met an
    Indonesian government official and businessman named Edison Dominic.  I
    dealt with him over a period of time in a cordial, get-acquainted type
    way.  When he began to trust us, in about October of 1989, he presented
    Swiss banks.

           A certificate of obligation is like a bond.  It represents real
    cash.  It's very much like a certificate of deposit.  These are negotiable
    and belong to the bearer.

           The certificates were written in U.S. dollars and guaranteed by
    the Swiss government. The principal amount was around $800 billion. The
    principal and interest amounted to $1.8 trillion.

           He asked us to put them in a trust account at Citibank and get
    them verified and then follow the instructions about getting them
    cashed.  Now we're oil and gas people, and we're used to some big
    money, but we didn't know what we had our hands on. We had a lot of
    trouble trying to get them verified and cashed.

           In late spring of 1991, Mr. Dominic flew from Indonesia into
    Austin, Texas and brought additional instruments.  These were U.S.
    Federal Reserve bank certificates and a very large group of Japanese

           As much trouble as we had with the Swiss certificates, we
    thought it would be relatively simple with U.S. Federal Resrve instruments.
    Our plan was to find out whether or not these documents were any good.

           These U.S. instruments were even larger than the Swiss ones,
    and they were in the names of people such as Saddam Hussein, the leader
    of Iraq; and [Col.] Muammar el-Qadaffi, the leader of Libya; Ferdinand
    Marcos, leader of the Philippines; and Manuel Noriega, the leader of

           We sought out a gentleman in Scottsdale, Arizona named Robert
    Johnson, a friend and confidant of Ronald Reagan and George Bush.  We
    knew what we had was volatile and we wanted to take precautions.  That's
    why we approached Mr. Johnson.  We showed him the documents and he
    arranged for us to go into the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, Texas.

           Two of my associates and I had an appointment at 10 am on July 8,

    1.  They were expecting us, and we went downstairs to a private

    meeting room. We spent only about 25 minutes there. The two ladies we
    met were very nice.

           We showed them the certificate in Saddam Hussein's name in the
    amount of $33 billion and told them we were there to try to verify it.
    They made a photocopy of the certificate and said they were going to
    fax it to the head office of the Federal Reserve.  They asked us where
    we were staying, saying it would take a few hours for them to get back
    to us.

           Then when we were back at the hotel, one of the attorneys for
    the bank in Dallas called us and said the certificate was good.  However,
    he said, since the United States was in conflict with Saddam Hussein
    at the time, all of his assets here were frozen.

           About mid-afternoon eight Secret Service agents, guns drawn,
    burst in, demanding to know wehre our guns were. We said we didn't have
    any and we were there on business.  There was a fourth man in our group,
    and this surprised the agents, since he hadn't come down to the Federal
    Reserve bank with us.

           Their objective when they came into the room was to make sure
    we were all dead and then take the certificates we had.  End of story.
    But the fourth man was in the room.

           They took us down to the federal building and [we] gave
    statements over a period of six hours, after which time we learned we
    were under arrest.  We were put in jail at a maximum security prison
    for a week and denied bond.  I begged for the right to call an attorney
    for hours and hours, but they denied me that right, even when we went
    to court the next morning.

           We were never charged with a crime.  We were put in jail on the
    basis of a complaint that we intentionally tried to defraud the United
    States government out of $33 billion-plus.  That's what the Secret
    Service testified to on the stand at the hearing.  We were not allowed
    to speak at the hearing.

           After a week, finally they released us on our own recognizance
    even though we were alleged to have tried to perpetrate the greatest
    fraud in the history of the U.S. government.

           Not a single journalist (except for Radio Free America) would
    touch the story when I tried to bring it to their attention.

           Our associate, Mr. Dominic, was also arrested in Austin on the
    same day we were.  They went to his hotel room to take him since I had
    been truthful and just told the whole story of my association with Mr.
    Dominic.  He stayed in jail for about 70 days.  Nobody from the
    Indonesian government would touch him now.

           He finally got out on bail, and a trial date was set, but we
    knew all along it would never go to trial, for the same reason they
    dropped the charges against me: They didn't want it to all come out.

           As I've uncovered it, Mr. Dominic had a job to do.  His job
    was to come over here and force these certificates to be acknowledged
    by the United States.  The Indonesian government's finance minister
    had attracted the foreign certificates.

           You see, for about 30 years, Indonesia had been the head of the
    so-called non-aligned countries.  The CIA knew all of that, and they
    wanted to bring Indonesia and its allies into the CIA's fold.

           To co-opt Indonesia, the CIA helped Indonesia attract the
    U.S. Federal Reserve certificates and the Japanese certificates, and
    the Marcos, Noriega, Qadaffi certificates etc.  The CIA helped the
    Indonesians get them.  However, the Indonesians told the CIA to get
    lost after they got these certificates of obligation.

           While Dominic was in jail, I was able to get a lot of
    documentation from him.  He put in writing what he wanted Congress to
    do with the funds.  He wanted to retire the national debt of the
    United States. He wanted to fund the supercollider.  He wanted to
    provide and adequate amount of money to reform public education in
    America and to provide better health care in this country.  He
    wanted to make loans and grants to small-businesses and farmers.

           We took it to Washington.

           Rep. Charles Rose (D-N.C.) actually invited Mr. Dominic, in
    writing, to come to Washington to testify before the Agriculture

           However, Sharon Pierce, the U.S. prosecutor in Dallas, called
    the congressman's office and said she would not allow Dominic to go to
    Washington unless she was present during the meeting.  That disturbed
    Rose and his people, and the congressman went to the counsel for the
    speaker of the House.

           The speaker's attorney, Steven Ross, said, "Well, we can
    handle this.  We will just declare this a technical congressional
    investigation.  That way the prosecutor cannot subpoena anybody in

           However, while Dominic finally got on the plane to come to
    Washington, the federal judge's clerk called Rose's office and said,
    "You don't want to meet Mr. Dominic. He's highly contagious with

           This scared Rose and his office to death.

           Congressman Rose and his office received from me one of the
    original Swiss certificates and the endorsement of that certificate
    over to Congress for the benefit of the United States.  This would be
    done gradually to avoid runaway inflation.

           I have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Amarillo,
    Texas against the Federal Reserve and Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen.
    Attached to the suit is one copy of one certificate: a $278 billion
    certificate made out to the shah of Iran.

           The suit is asking for 3 percent of that amount. My arrangement
    with Mr. Dominic was that I would get a 3 percent commission on the
    certificates when cashed. The suit alleges that the U.S. government,
    in conjunction with the Federal Reserve, has already resolved 97 percent
    of it. By the suit, we are mandating that the Federal Reserve open its
    books to prove we are wrong.

           I intend to file a separate suit against only the Federal Reserve,
    using a majority of the balance of the certificates. This suit is designed
    to accomplish all of the things Mr. Dominic wanted: retirement of the
    national debt, funding the supercollider etc.

           About an hour before I appeared on Radio Free America the last
    time [Oct.7, 1992], I received a call from one of my associates. He
    has a lot of high-level contacts, and one of them was one of our current,
    sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices.

           This justice got in touch with the CIA and asked if all of this
    was real. The CIA asked the justice to ask me to back off until Oct. 28.
    The Federal Reserve has been moving gold into the Federal Reserve bank
    in Dallas in order to be able to back up these certificates. That
    Supreme Court justice will be called to testify in our case.

  •  forgeries and conspiracy theories (0+ / 0-)
  •  read my comments in this diary (0+ / 0-)

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