A Ton Of Gold Bricks: What Capital Flight Looks Like In Italy

Tyler Durden's picture


Curious why so little has been said about cash flowing out of Italy's banks, especially when even UniCredit's CEO today proudly warned everyone he is all for confiscating uninsured deposits as long as "everyone else is doing it" - and no, he is not kidding, so when it does happen, nobody will be able to say they weren't warned. Maybe it is because Italian cash is actually not leaving the country at all. Instead, real "wealth" is departing the boot-shaped nation, quietly and under the radar, as fast as it can in another form: gold. As the clip below from Bloomberg shows, a car was intercepted at the Italy-Switzerland border, with a very special cargo: numerous bars of gold weighing a whopping one ton, worth $6 million. Furthermore, one can be absolutely certain that for every car that is caught at the border with a ton of "golden" cargo, there are 99 that pass through undisturbed and undetected. Which makes perfect sense: what better way to circumvent shadow capital controls such as those virtually everywhere in Europe, than to convert one's paper money within country A so it stays in country A, into a far more valuable, anonymous and transportable store of wealth, such as gold, and quietly move it to country B, the one where the risk of deposit confiscation is (for now at least) far less?

Oh, did we mention the confiscated product was gold: not euros, not Cypriot euros, not dollars, not palladium, not bitcoin... gold?

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Thu, 04/04/2013 - 16:52 | 3409716 SolidSnake961
SolidSnake961's picture

tungsten or real? how long can paper prices stay so low??

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 16:57 | 3409738 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

"how long can paper prices stay so low??"

I know this one - Fraud

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 16:58 | 3409768 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

Now we understand the push for body scanners at airports.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:04 | 3409798 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

He should have just fabricated all of the metal body parts of the car out of the gold and then added some fake rust for effect...

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:06 | 3409803 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


This news item stinks.

Since when is it illegal to move gold bars to Switzerland.

As far as I know, gold bars are not a financial instrument and do not need to be declared.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:13 | 3409842 Debugas
Debugas's picture

are you aware that if you cross borders within EU you are obliged to declare cash if you carry more than 10000 euros ?

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:28 | 3409854 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

This is not cash

Did they declare the value of their car/SUV?

It's not a financial instrument either.

The subliminal investment advice, not intended to be given by Bloomberg, is everyone move your gold to a safe jurisdiction as the grabbers are coming.

I would bet there is a gold remonetization coming and all of the fat boys aren't positioned yet.  Cough it up.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:30 | 3409924 grekko
grekko's picture

They are welcome to my gold, just as soon as I run out of 9mm, 30-06, and crossbow bolts.  Does anyone know where I can pick up some claymore mines, like real cheap?

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:41 | 3409952 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Please sell your gold.

It is of no use (see the above video). 

Besides, my banker buddies are in trouble.


Thank you,

Michael Bloomberg


On a side note - did anyone notice how they stacked the gold bars on the cardboard.  Only an Italian policeman would stack gold like that.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:52 | 3409993 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Those dudes are Merkels cousins.  Repatriation, bitchez!  Worth "6 million dollars"?  LOL.  Is gold trading at $187 / oz?

1 Ton = $45 million, give or take a few ounces.


Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:55 | 3410028 Arcturus
Arcturus's picture

As far as I know or can calculate a ton of gold is 32150 troy ounces. times price is close to 50 million Ameircan dolors. Someone did not do their homework.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:02 | 3410038 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Or there is only a couple hundred KG's there, which is what it looks like.


Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:12 | 3410065 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Soc Gen says the gold era is over


Gold is finished. 

The future is in paper.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 20:45 | 3410484 Prisoners_dilemna
Prisoners_dilemna's picture

Should've used Bitcoin.
He would've saved a ton of money on gas costs...
and a ton of money.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 20:55 | 3410542 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

no shit.... bitcoin could hit $2000 next week if this witch hunt keeps going

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 20:55 | 3410547 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

Just before it goes to zero.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 01:37 | 3411260 Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

I'm very sorry but I can't refrain from being amused at your dismissal of bitcoin when we are clearly seeing that moving gold involves major problems.  That's what bitcoin is for.  Gold is to remain burried under a tree until strike price.  Anyone using gold in hyperinflationary times will be painting a major target in their backs.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 02:42 | 3411366 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Beside, if thief steal bitcoin, no danger is happen to teeth. Cannot is steal bitcoin with pliers!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 02:38 | 3411364 ajax
ajax's picture



Here's the real story, it was in yesterday's paper:



Fri, 04/05/2013 - 10:08 | 3412489 virgule
virgule's picture

And there is no way someone would be carrying and moving gold bars this size with 2-3 fingers only. Mut be gold-plated aluminium!

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:19 | 3410096 ArgentoFisico
ArgentoFisico's picture

It wasn't obviously 1 TON! .. it was 110 kilos (4.400.000 euro circa)

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:20 | 3410101 tom
tom's picture

Well, I'm glad somebody on ZH knows that a ton of gold is worth a lot more than $6m. Sheeesh! That is one price ZH should not be getting wrong.

Actually this being Europe I assume it would have been a metric ton, worth close to $50m.



Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:17 | 3410276 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

How many extra leaf springs does a Fiat need to carry a ton of gold?
Wait, do cars still have leaf springs?

For that matter, does fiat have any gold content,..

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:23 | 3410284 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Maybe they meant it in the colloquial sense, like I banged a ton of chicks.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:54 | 3410360 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

But maybe you mean it literally, like you banged four "500 lb fat chicks.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 04:14 | 3411443 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is resent joke about sisters!

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 22:18 | 3410791 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

Was that a troy ton? A short ton, a metric ton? Or 1960 long pounds?

Jeeze I dunno know anymore.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:36 | 3410154 seek
seek's picture

Pretty sure silk road has claymores or the equivalent. (not kidding.) You have to pay in bitcoin though.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:31 | 3409931 knukles
knukles's picture

Dumb fucks tried to stuff a ton of gold into a 1955 Citroen 2CV.
Thing was grounding out on level surface on the rims.
Driven by 2 Arab guys wearingfull face covering niqabs and screaming Allah ackbar!
Otherwise, it was no big deal

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:42 | 3409975 prains
prains's picture

Smellay Snackbar! Smellay Snackbar!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 04:17 | 3411444 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

I like a locked bar, I like a locked bar...

Does not make sense these smellay arabs! Should have nuked Afghanistan but Gorby is no presence of gonad like Putin.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:18 | 3410086 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

This was Italy.  The car was a Topolino, not one of those French Grasshoppers.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:11 | 3410250 espirit
espirit's picture

Foil wrapped chocolates?

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:09 | 3410062 grekko
grekko's picture

They don't have any gold, not for 7 years anyway (in the case of Germany).  does the word rehypothecated mean anything to anyone?  Of course they'll confiscate it.  I'll gladly give mine when I run out of ammo, including crossbow bolts.


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:10 | 3413129 caconhma
caconhma's picture

I proudly announce: Paper Gold is Kaput!

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:30 | 3410134 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Is it me or does the European Commission website's Cash Control's website not work?  It has the main info page, but you can't get to more information when looking up "What is cash?"



For the US Gold coins are considered currency (but couldn't find anything re: gold bars).

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:37 | 3410155 noless
noless's picture



article 2, section 2.


2. ‘cash’ means:

(a) bearer-negotiable instruments including monetary

instruments in bearer form such as travellers cheques,

negotiable instruments (including cheques, promissory

notes and money orders) that are either in bearer form,

endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious

payee, or otherwise in such form that title thereto

passes upon delivery and incomplete instruments

(including cheques, promissory notes and money orders)

signed, but with the payee's name omitted;

(b) currency (banknotes and coins that are in circulation as

a medium of exchange).

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:54 | 3410212 Stuntgirl
Stuntgirl's picture

In the EU, the capital control legislation does not say "cash". It says you can cross a border without declaring up to 10,000 euro equivalent "cash, cheques, or mediums of payment"-

The issue here is that investment grade gold 95.xx purity and up, bears no taxes because it is "investment grade gold" and as such, it falls in the category "medium of payment".

It's all in the wording. However, if those had been philarmonic coins, with a Euro face value, you could cross the border with up to 10,000 Euro face value, as they are legal tender.

I hope this information is useful to some europeans here, the devil's in the details.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 03:39 | 3411402 sankol
sankol's picture

Thats quite informational. Hope to see you around these parts more often.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:44 | 3410174 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Note to self: in case of emergency, buy a yacht, sail away, and sell at destination - problem solved.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:32 | 3410309 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

In extremis, hijack a yacht ,anchor offshore and eat popcorn watching when TSHF.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 20:30 | 3410467 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Note to self: buy big binoculars.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 23:14 | 3410883 essence
essence's picture

You certainly won't be selling your yachts stash in Switzerland (it's landlocked for the geographically challenged... in other words, most americans).

But let's explore this theme.

Sail to Tahiti  .... and what, wander around Papeete   looking for an English speaking Chinese coin shop.  Or Sail to Dubai? Singapore? Hong Kong ?  (do u have any idea the challenges involved in doing that) Where you'll do what? (assuming you manage to smuggle your cargo past the local customs).   But, But you stammer ....simon black makes it sound sooo straightforward.

U.S. Coast Guard (which operates on the high seas --far removed from the U.S.) will likely intercept you during one of their "safety checks" and strip you of your life's saving. If not, your arrival at a major foreign port could get you a through search. Feeling lucky punk? With your life's savings?

There's alot of clueless posters on Zerohedge shooting off their mouth.

The Jewish banksters & their minions will eat you up and shit you out unless you up your game an order of magitude.



Fri, 04/05/2013 - 20:15 | 3414875 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

LOL you know I was just kidding, right?

Btw, you sure?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYwU9uxc9qY... everything's possible with a little imagination (and loads of cash...) :P

Btw, US/elsewhere coast guard/whatever can't do jack shit about foreign ships in high seas, if not mandated internationally/related to their jurisdiction (well, they can, obviously, but that's high sea piracy).

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 19:11 | 3410252 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

Dang, he should'a had a boating accident BEFORE he got to the border...

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 20:32 | 3410448 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

He probably was hoping to get to lake Geneva, I've heard it's a very accident-prone lake (sort of a Bermudas Triangle for wealth, if you will)...

And that explains a mystery that has puzzled professionals and enthusiasts alike, for decades: why did the Swiss ban the world's only underwater SLR camera ever - you just wouldn't want any would-be treasure hunters upsetting the calm of those waters going through its silt, uncovering whatever relics may lie there.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:18 | 3409861 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

why were they searching the vehicle in the first place?

thought part of the point of the union was to facilitate  travel

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:24 | 3409899 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Crack [JEWBloomberg] team reporting to you that, once & for all... "Crime doesn't pay"...

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 17:25 | 3409905 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

It was a ton of gold.  Think the car sagged much?  Guard notes an auto performance problem, investigates and, WHOA, a ton of gold.

Who the fuck transports a ton of gold all at once?

This was clearly a case for Bitcoin.  Just send it over the border electronically.

Thu, 04/04/2013 - 18:48 | 3410185 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Or carry it on you. Unfindable.

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