Japanese Mint Employee Stole 15Kg Gold Bar "To Cover FX Trading Losses"

Tyler Durden's picture

With USDJPY collapsing in fits and starts and the nightly nattering nabobs of Japanese officialdom sparking mini risk flare-ups in FX markets, we can easily comprehend a part-time currency trader mounting up some losses. But it appears 54-year-old Japanese Mint employee Yutaka Umeno turned the leverage dial to 11 and having lost it all, decided the appropriate solution was to to steal a 15 kilo bar of gold "to cover his FX losses."

As Asahi.com reports, a Japan Mint worker is accused of swiping a 15-kilogram gold bar valued at around $650,000 from under the noses of his colleagues...

Yutaka Umeno, an officer at the Japan Mint's Tokyo Branch near Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, has been arrested and charged with stealing the gold bar, which was displayed in the Tokyo Branch’s Mint Museum, Saitama prefectural police announced June 20.

The ingot, which measures about 20 centimeters in length, 10 cm in width and 6 cm in height, was found at a pawn shop here, north of Tokyo.

Umeno, 54, who lives in Saitama city’s Nishi Ward and works for the general affairs division at the Japan Mint, has admitted to a charge of theft and told police he did it to “compensate losses made by foreign exchange trading.”

According to the investigators, Umeno made a subordinate remove the gold bar from its display case in the museum on Jan. 5 this year. He lied to the colleague, saying that he needed it for work purposes, which was a plausible reason as the museum sometimes loans the ingot for educational use.

Perhaps even more intriguing is The Mint did not realize the large gold ingot was missing for five months!!

The crime came to light when the worker who removed the bar from the case became suspicious after Umeno, who kept working there, did not return it for five months and reported it to another superior officer.


On a number of occasions after the theft, staff members inquired with Umeno about the location of the bar. Umeno left his post at the Tokyo branch in the middle of the day on June 14. Three days later, a member of his family contacted police after he had not returned home. Saitama Prefectural Police apprehended him therafter.


Yasuhiro Ichiba, the mint’s assistant director of the general affairs department, offered an apology at a press conference in Osaka on Monday. “We will endeavor to ensure that a recurrence does not take place,” he said.

We wonder why the Mint worker did not steal share certificates or Yen... maybe it's a 'tradition' to steal 'valueless' yellow rocks?

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lasvegaspersona's picture

20x10x6 cm is not a 15kg bar...closer to 1 kg...

Zero Point's picture

Why is this illegal? He merely loaned the gold to a third party with the full intention of paying back every cent when his trades were successful. That gold bar was still on the books as the mints asset. This is just proper central bank practice.

bonin006's picture

20cm x 10cm x 6cm x 19.3g/cm3 = 23kg, not at all close to 1kg. You better check your math.

dlweld's picture

23 kg is what I got - but sure doesn't look proportioned like 20 by 10 by 6 in the photo.

zeronetwork's picture

So after all gold is worth stealing.Bitches

taggaroonie's picture

even closer to 20 kg by my calcs

So It Goes's picture

Here is a better picture:


The bar clearly states 15314.0 g

Only the length is measured.  Looks closer to 18 cm.

Hillarys Server's picture

Only the length is measured.  Looks closer to 18 cm.

Which coincidentally is the exact length of Michelle Obama's [deleted].

Kina's picture

He had a yen for some gold.


So It Goes's picture

He needed a lot of yen.

15,314.0 g = 492.37 tr oz X Au @1270.1/oz = $625,346.44.  

RadioFlyer's picture
RadioFlyer (not verified) So It Goes Jun 22, 2016 5:18 AM

Probably got 10,000 yen

ebworthen's picture

Real money that Gold, so why was that fool monkeying around in the FX markets?

Clearly a confused person.  It's a bi-polar world out there!

GeezerGeek's picture

It was even better when it was a bi-metallic world.

OldPhart's picture

Didn't this idiot have a welding torch to create a big fucking pile of nuggets?

dark pools of soros's picture

the idiot didn't even know how to keep his lackey quiet... was doomed from the start as a dope.   Now wonder the Yakuza has no fear if this guy got away with it for 5 months

de3de8's picture

The real opportunity lost was not duplicating using tungsten as since its use was dedicated for display purposes, probably would have never been discovered. Dummy.

Uncle Sugar's picture

He didn't steal it, just rehypothicated it.  

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

Ha ha ... u beat me to it Uncle.

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

Ummmm...excuse me, but it was not stealing.  He was rehypothicating it.  So...nothing to see here folks.  Please disperse.  And do not wory.

chrsn's picture

Just say you needed it because you were starving to death.  

Oh, wait.  It was an Italian court who said that was okay.

Kina's picture

He took a gold bar to a Pawn shop??


Why not make a mold, buy a lump lead, have it shaped the same, gold plated......

Northern Lights's picture

You're right, this fucker could have scraped some gold off the bar, plated a piece of fucking tungsten, pawned the real brick off for cash, and put the plated piece of shit right back in the display case.  It probably wouldn't be found out for the next 50 years if ever.

1980XLS's picture

Hari-Kari. It's a lifstyle. Embrace it.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Jun 21, 2016 8:23 PM

What a dummy, Gold isn't money...

Raffie's picture

He just should have said "no more yankie my wankie, Donger needs food."

Northern Lights's picture

What's a happening-a hot stuff ????????

RAT005's picture

The only thing that interests me is what did the Pawn Shop pay for it? 

budd_dwyers_gun's picture

What's his ZH handle? 



ACES FULL's picture

Would have never found had it ben MY pawnshop.

Automatic Choke's picture

I wanna read about the guy who stole 1.5 kg of paper to cover losses on pm trades.

....oh, wait.   precious metals aren't money, never mind.


Neo Anderson's picture

*insert sarcasm*

Don't send him to jail. Give him a job at the Federal Reserve.

*end sarcasm*


Due North's picture

A bit of a tangent here, but a short time back on a business trip to Port Orange, a homie in a gigantic blacked out SUV parked two lanes away from me in the middle of 5 o'clock traffic starts yelling at ME wanting to know if I was interested in purchasing a 10 ounce gold bar........

I wonder if the Japanese dude tried that....

Due North's picture

I never found out. I was without firepower at that moment (unbelievably) and was a bit shocked as to whether this guy thought I might be carrying approximately ten grand cash.

YourAverageJoe's picture

Well, if you could barely open your eyes, you might miss a 15 kg gold brick too.

headfake's picture

just one? if youre gonna do it do it properly at least

LickItUp's picture

If he had replaced the stolen ingot with a replica, he's still be laughing about it. 

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Bet he had it in his "back pocket" lol. Lends new meaning to "shit a brick"