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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.

“With the U.S. Treasury now printing the nearly $2 trillion in government bonds needed to finance the Obama administration’s anticipated $1.8 trillion 2009 budget deficit, the incident has raised eyebrows around the world,” Corsi wrote.

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.”

Italian law limits to 10,000 euros per person the amount of money that can be imported or exported without declaring the sum. The penalty for violating this law is 40 percent of the money seized which would make the fine $38 billion in this incident.

U.S. government bonds in billion dollar denominations are not considered negotiable by ordinary citizens, Corsi noted. Such bonds are typically bearer-bonds issued by the U.S. government only to banks and foreign governments that seek to purchase the bonds to hold in their institutional asset portfolios.

According to a press release issued by Guardia di Finanzia, the two Japanese smugglers were caught at an international railway station in Chiasso, on Italy’s border with Switzerland. Arriving at the Chiasso railroad station on a train coming from Italy, the two 50-year-old Japanese men told customs they had nothing to declare.

The Guardia di Finanzia, charged with detecting illegal trafficking in counterfeit money and drug money laundering, discovered the U.S. securities hidden in the bottom of a suitcase carried by the two Japanese men, in a secret compartment where a false bottom separated cache of bonds from personal items.

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.

Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.

In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.

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