The Japanese Bond Smugglers Are Missing

seized-bonds

At least the Japanese press is sitll interested in story of the two Japanese men caugh withs ome $134.5 billion in (presumably fake) US bearer bonds.

We can’t read Japanese, and Google Translate isn’t particularly helpful, but a reader informs us that the gist of this story is that a newspaper sent a reporter to Como, Italy and found that the men had been released, with their whereabouts unknown.

Now, the easiest, most-benign explanation for this whole thing is that it’s just a counterfeiting scheme. Fine, but then why do you let them go without tracking their whereabouts?

This could be the reason why: The US Bearer Bonds ‘Coincidence’

Related articles:
US Treasury says bonds seized in Italy are fakes
The Saga Of The Bearer Bonds; Smuggled Bonds Are Probably Genuine

Joe Weisenthal
Jun. 17, 2009

Source: The Business Insider

Illegal download fine: $1.9 million for 24 songs

  • Minnesota wife, mom slapped with fine of $80,000 per song, for total of $1.9 million
  • Spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America lauds jury’s finding

Illegal downloads of musical files will cost a Minnesota woman $1.9 million, a jury has decided.
Illegal downloads of musical files will cost a Minnesota woman $1.9 million, a jury has decided.

(CNN) — A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each — a total of $1.9 million — for 24 songs.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said.

Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at the fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents.

Read moreIllegal download fine: $1.9 million for 24 songs

The Saga Of The Bearer Bonds; Smuggled Bonds Are Probably Genuine

Update:
The Japanese Bond Smugglers Are Missing (The Business Insider)

US Treasury says bonds seized in Italy are fakes (Reuters)
The US Bearer Bonds ‘Coincidence’ (Must-read)

Related article: Italy Seizes $135 BILLION Of US Bonds: Smuggling Or Counterfeit-Printing?


The German newspaper ‘Die Welt’ (The World) reports:
(Original article: Welt Online , Translation courtesy of Google: Here)

Smuggled Bonds are probably genuine
Geschmuggelte Anleihen sind wohl echt

Bull’s eye for the customs officers:
Volltreffer für die Zöllner:

The smuggled bonds valued at 134 billion U.S. dollars are apparently authentic.

Die geschmuggelten Wertpapiere im Wert von 134 Milliarden Dollar sind offenbar echt.

The Italian financial police caught two Japanese, trying to carry multi-billion bonds in the false bottom of their suitcase to Switzerland.
Die italienische Finanzpolizei hatte zwei Japaner ertappt, die im doppelten Boden eines Koffers milliardenschwere Anleihen in die Schweiz schaffen wollten.

Note that this has received very little coverage in the so-called “mainstream US media” – but it is everywhere in Europe and Asia.

Japan, for its part, oddly said the following as soon as this story started to hit the press:

“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.”

Uh huh. And the Japanese said in December of 1941 that all was well too. Anyone remember what happened on the morning of the 7th?

Let’s apply a little “Occam’s Razor” to this entire story.

You’re not going to walk into a bank with $130 billion in bearer bonds and cash them. Nor are you going to sell a bond with a $500 million face value to someone without them authenticating it. They will be authenticated before you get one dime out of them – no matter who you think you’re going to “give” them to.

So if they’re fakes and you’re “just screwing around”, there is no reason to hide them. Nor is there any particular reason to have authentic and recent original bank documents in your luggage with them, as has been reported.

Read moreThe Saga Of The Bearer Bonds; Smuggled Bonds Are Probably Genuine

Scotland Yard officers are suspected of defrauding taxpayers of millions

More than 300 elite Scotland Yard detectives are suspected of defrauding the taxpayer of millions of pounds by abusing their corporate credit cards, the Observer can disclose.

Auditors who have examined the American Express accounts of 3,500 officers involved in countering terrorism and organised crime have reported almost one in 11 detectives to the Metropolitan Police’s internal investigators.

A senior officer appears to have spent £40,000 on his Amex card in one year, without authorisation. Items bought by others without permission include suits, women’s clothing and fishing rods.

The scale of the suspected fraud, disclosed in an internal Metropolitan Police Authority report, will send shock waves through the force. Until now, the investigation into expenses fraud was thought to have focused on fewer than 40 officers. It comes days after Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner, faced the potentially damaging disclosure that six officers face investigation over claims that a drug suspect’s head was forced into a lavatory that was flushed repeatedly.

Authority members expressed their dismay last night. Jenny Jones, a Green Party member, said: “Taxpayers have every right to be angry about this. Well done to the current auditing team for uncovering this, but what on earth was happening before? Why was there no accountability?

“It beggars belief that our police, who are supposed to be solving crime, are suspected of fraud on a grand scale.”

Read moreScotland Yard officers are suspected of defrauding taxpayers of millions

NASA orders $19 million space toilet from Russia

iss

Moscow, June 14: The US space agency NASA was forced to spend a whopping USD 19 million on a new toilet in their section of International Space Station (ISS), after repeated breakdown of the American lavatory due to “rich diet” of Russian cosmonauts.

Cosmonauts from both the countries had been using each others’ toilets, but the American astronauts recently denied access to their Russian colleagues to their lavatory, sparking a ‘space scandal’ between the two former Cold War rivals.

“The US astronauts were sick and tired of toilet breakdowns and unpleasant odours. NASA was eventually forced to order a toilet system from Russia. US tax payers paid USD 19 million for the space toilet. The new construction was installed in the US segment of the ISS,” Pravda.ru website reported.

Read moreNASA orders $19 million space toilet from Russia

Italy Seizes $135 BILLION Of US Bonds: Smuggling Or Counterfeit-Printing?

Update :
The Japanese Bond Smugglers Are Missing (The Business Insider)
US Treasury says bonds seized in Italy are fakes (Reuters)
The US Bearer Bonds ‘Coincidence’ (Must-read)
The Saga Of The Bearer Bonds; Smuggled Bonds Are Probably Genuine


Ok, this was rumored several days ago, but now I can find actual news reportsat least, outside the US:

Milan (AsiaNews) – 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.

Those sound like Bearer Bonds – at least the Kennedy ones do.

We no longer issue those (nor does pretty much anyone else) for obvious reasons – they’re essentially money and can be had in VERY large size, making them great vehicles for various illegal enterprises.

But folks: This is $134.5 billion dollars worth.

If they’re real, what government (the only entity that would have such a cache) is trying to unload them?

If they’re fake, this is arguably the biggest counterfeiting operation ever, by a factor of many times. I’ve seen news about various counterfeiting operations over the years that have made me chuckle, but this one, if that’s what it is, is absolutely jaw-dropping.

The cute part of this is that if the certificates are real Italy just got a hell of a bonanza – their money laundering laws provide for a statutory 40% penalty for failure to declare instruments and cash in excess of $10,000 Euros, which means they’d garner a close-to-$40 billion dollar windfall.

That ought to help their budget problems!

Notice, by the way, that the US Media has totally ignored this story – even though the securities in question are allegedly US instruments.

Gee, I wonder why? Might the authorities know they’re real and be just a wee bit nervous that disclosure of a sovereign attempting to covertly dump nearly $140 billion in debt could cause a wee bit of panic, given that we’re running nearly $200 billion a month in deficits?

Inquiring minds want to know what’s really going on here.

Read moreItaly Seizes $135 BILLION Of US Bonds: Smuggling Or Counterfeit-Printing?

London’s Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding drug suspects

police_torture_waterboarding_police-state
The claims are part of an investigation which includes accusations that evidence was fabricated and suspects’ property was stolen

Metropolitan Police officers subjected suspects to waterboarding, according to allegations at the centre of a major anti-corruption inquiry, The Times has learnt.

The torture claims are part of a wide-ranging investigation which also includes accusations that officers fabricated evidence and stole suspects’ property. It has already led to the abandonment of a drug trial and the suspension of several police officers.

However, senior policing officials are most alarmed by the claim that officers in Enfield, North London, used the controversial CIA interrogation technique to simulate drowning. Scotland Yard is appointing a new borough commander in Enfield in a move that is being seen as an attempt by Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner, to enforce a regime of “intrusive supervision”.

The waterboarding claims will fuel the debate about police conduct that has raged in the wake of hundreds of public complaints of brutality at the anti-G20 protests in April.

The part of the inquiry focusing on alleged police brutality has been taken over by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. It is examining the conduct of six officers connected to drug raids in November in which four men and a woman were arrested at addresses in Enfield and Tottenham. Police said they found a large amount of cannabis and the suspects were charged with importation of a Class C drug. The case was abandoned four months later when the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not have been in the public interest to proceed. It is understood that the trial, by revealing the torture claims, would have compromised the criminal investigation into the six officers.

Read moreLondon’s Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding drug suspects

Royal Canadian Mint lost tens of millions in precious metals

Tories call in Mounties over mint’s missing millions

Canada’s money-makers can’t find tens of millions in precious metals that are shown on the books

royal-canadian-mint
Employees work June 8, 2009 at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, where there are worries security could have been breached following the revelation that a large amount of precious metals recorded on the books is missing. The mint uses gold, silver, platinum and palladium in its operations.

OTTAWA – The federal government has asked the RCMP to launch an investigation into the tens of millions worth of precious metals that have gone missing from the Royal Canadian Mint.

The announcement comes after an external audit was launched to reconcile the mint’s records with the physical stock of metals.

And it comes after the Star revealed today that the value of the missing metal was worth more than $10 million.

“I think we are all very concerned,” said Rob Merrifield, minister of state for transport, the department responsible for the mint.

Merrifield said he “instructed” mint staff today to call in the Mounties to assist with the ongoing audit, which has been under way since early March.

Read moreRoyal Canadian Mint lost tens of millions in precious metals

Air France crash killed two of the world’s “most prominent” illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking foes

pablo_dreyfus
Pablo Dreyfus

The puzzling crash of Air France’s Flight 447 killed two of the world’s “most prominent” illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking foes, according to a little-noticed report.

In a revelation sure to fuel conspiracy theories over the plane’s demise, the report reveals that two key figures in the neverending internecine battle against global arms and drug trafficking perished when the plane abruptly fell out of the sky. Both were particularly active in efforts to stem illegal arms trading in Latin America.

A 39-year Argentinian man, Pablo Dreyfus, was said to be a major player in an effort by Brazilian authorities to stop flow of arms to drug gangs in Rio. He was a consultant for Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based thinktank.

Another consultant for Small Arms Survey also died in the crash, “Ronald Dreyer, a Swiss diplomat and co-ordinator of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence who had worked with UN missions in El Salvador, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Angola,” according to Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

“Both men were consultants at the Small Arms Survey, an independent think tank based at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies,” the Herald reported. “The Survey said on its website that Dryer had helped mobilise the support of more than 100 countries to the cause of disarmament and development.”

Dreyfus and Dreyer were reportedly traveling to Switzerland to “present the latest edition of the Small Arms Survey handbook, of which Dreyfus was a joint editor.”

Dreyfus advocated for “stringent labeling” of ammunition produced by weapons companies, the paper said. He averred that such labeling would greatly aid the tracking of arms acquired by criminals.

Read moreAir France crash killed two of the world’s “most prominent” illegal arms trade and international drug trafficking foes