In 2009, two Japanese individuals were arrested trying to smuggle $134 billion in US bonds into Switzerland from Italy. In 2012, Italian authorities seized $6 trillion in allegedly fake US bonds from safe-deposit boxes in Zurich (which were purportedly to be used to buy plutonium from Nigerian sources). And now, in 2014, The BBC reports, Italian police have arrested two men who were allegedly trying to deposit trillions of euros in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.
Italian police have arrested two men who were allegedly trying to deposit trillions of euros in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.
Officials say the pair, an American and a Dutch national, claimed they had an appointment with bank officials to gain entry but were handed over to police.
Fake bonds with a face value of 3tr euros ($4.1tr; £2.5tr) were found in their briefcase, the officials say.
The bank - officially called the Institute for the Works of Religion - runs thousands of private accounts held by cardinals, bishops and religious orders all over the world.
The two suspects were later released pending further investigation, Financial Guard police officer Davide Cardia told AP news agency, as Italian law does not require arrest for fraud investigations.
Financial Guard police Lt. Col. Davide Cardia said the would-be swindlers, who were wearing business suits, tried to convince Swiss Guards at a Vatican City gate earlier this month that "cardinals were expecting them."
Cardia said the fake documents purported to be bond certificates for non-Italian companies. "The sum -- worth some 3 trillion euros (more than $4 trillion dollars) -- is impressive, even though it's only symbolic because we're talking about false" certificates, said Cardia, in charge of the financial police's operations in Rome and surrounding area.
Investigators suspect the men might have planned to use the fake bonds as security to open a hefty line of credit through the Vatican bank.
But this is not the first time,
Both suspects, whose names weren't released by police, had been previously investigated for attempted fraud in Asian countries, Cardia said without elaborating.
With trillion of freshly minted dollars, yen, euros, and yuan floating around the world (and all the subsequent monetized debt); and in light of increasing capital controls in a desperate world, who knows with any of these "frauds." Just the sheer scale of trying to pull of a trillion dollar fraud would be incredible were it not for the Central Banks numbing us to the new normal.