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The Japanese Bond Smugglers Are Missing
The Business Insider ^ | 6/17/09

Posted on 06/17/2009 9:31:51 PM PDT by FromLori

A reporter is sent to Italy to learn more about the bond smuggling story. But nobody knows where the two men are.

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Japan
KEYWORDS: bearerbonds; bonds; counterfeiting; missing

1 posted on 06/17/2009 9:31:51 PM PDT by FromLori
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To: FromLori

americanintokyo


2 posted on 06/17/2009 9:33:30 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <----go there now,----> tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: GeronL; AmericanInTokyo

BUMP


3 posted on 06/17/2009 9:33:54 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <----go there now,----> tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: FromLori

Case closed.


4 posted on 06/17/2009 9:34:38 PM PDT by tired1 (When the Devil eats you there's only one way out.)
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To: FromLori

obviously, there’s nothing to see here........... right...


5 posted on 06/17/2009 9:37:10 PM PDT by Lloyd227 (Class of 1998 (let's all help the Team McCain spider monkeys decide how to moderate))
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To: tired1
"Case closed."

Yup. We don't need to know...Obama will take care of it.

We just need to go back to work now and mind our own business.

6 posted on 06/17/2009 9:38:23 PM PDT by blam
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To: FromLori

This story just keeps getting better every day.


7 posted on 06/17/2009 9:38:53 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: FromLori

If they were counterfeit, that would be a crime, and they would not have been released.

Logical conclusion: They were the real deal, and the men were released no doubt with a little urging from the Japanese embassy there.


8 posted on 06/17/2009 9:40:25 PM PDT by djf (Man up!! Don't be a FReeloader!! Make a donation today!)
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To: djf

Or the American Embassy?


9 posted on 06/17/2009 9:41:12 PM PDT by FromLori (FromLori)
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To: blam

I think that 0’s bosses took care of it.


10 posted on 06/17/2009 9:45:10 PM PDT by tired1 (When the Devil eats you there's only one way out.)
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To: KoRn
This story just keeps getting better every day.

It's gone from strange to downright sublime.

These guys get caught crossing the border with 134 BILLION in U.S. bonds and they're just "released?"

What planet is this? I need to stop reading here.

11 posted on 06/17/2009 9:45:45 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: FromLori

They went missing, eh? Just like our money, our future, our country. /pessimism


12 posted on 06/17/2009 9:48:11 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: tired1
"I think that 0’s bosses took care of it."

The Bilderbergers?

13 posted on 06/17/2009 9:48:38 PM PDT by blam
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To: AAABEST
Probably returning TARP money loaned to US banks to Swiss banks for deposit in US politicians’ accounts.

(bump for later reference)

14 posted on 06/17/2009 9:49:16 PM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: djf
If they were counterfeit, that would be a crime, and they would not have been released.

Unless certain Sicilian families were involved. Then one phone call to the right person in the police would open the jail doors.

I'm still betting on real bonds which some country is trying to dump but doesn't want to start a panic before they get out of US bonds.

15 posted on 06/17/2009 9:49:29 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Chrysler and GM are what Marx meant by the means of production.)
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To: PGalt

Realism


16 posted on 06/17/2009 9:49:52 PM PDT by FromLori (FromLori)
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To: AAABEST

I wonder if the Italians got to keep (by their law) 30% of the seized value? (I think it’s 30%)


17 posted on 06/17/2009 9:50:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: AAABEST

Well, there’s obviously more to the story than what is being told.

I don’t know what to make of it. From a persepctive of an American who holds at least some US currency, I’d probably hope they’re forgeries.

If they’re real, watch out...


18 posted on 06/17/2009 9:52:27 PM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: KarlInOhio
I'm still betting on real bonds...

If the story at the top of the thread is true, you win your bet."

That can be the only plausible explanation - they were real bonds that some HUGE bond-holding nation was unloading legally (but off the open market), therefore no actual crime was committed.

19 posted on 06/17/2009 9:56:34 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: Boiling Pots
If they’re real, watch out...

I'm thinking that if the story is true, they have to be real bonds. See my previous post.

20 posted on 06/17/2009 9:58:00 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: AAABEST
I don't know what Italian or Swiss laws are on transporting cash equivalents, but either into or out of the US you are required [This report is required by 31 U.S.C. 5316 and Treasury Department regulations (31 CFR 103).] to report it if you are carrying more than $10,000. That's a lot less than $134 billion.

http://www.fincen.gov/forms/files/fin105_cmir.pdf

21 posted on 06/17/2009 10:07:58 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Chrysler and GM are what Marx meant by the means of production.)
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To: AAABEST

But then, when ya got 134 billion in BEARER BONDS in 500 Million Dollar denominations, a bond or two might buy you a key purty darn quick!


22 posted on 06/17/2009 10:08:24 PM PDT by djf (Man up!! Don't be a FReeloader!! Make a donation today!)
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To: FromLori

LOL

Mr Phelps, your mission - if you decide to accept it......


23 posted on 06/17/2009 10:17:32 PM PDT by ASOC (Who IS that fat lady, and why is she singing?????)
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To: blam

Down the memory hole.


24 posted on 06/17/2009 10:18:51 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: KarlInOhio
I don't know what Italian or Swiss laws are on transporting cash equivalents, but either into or out of the US you are required [This report is required by 31 U.S.C. 5316 and Treasury Department regulations (31 CFR 103).] to report it if you are carrying more than $10,000. That's a lot less than $134 billion.

I was thinking about that, and aI dmittedly know nothing about the particular international laws, but I would imagine that if the two Japanese couriers were acting as fiduciaries of a government (which the would have had to have been with that much in REAL bonds), they then would have been operating under an entirely different set of laws than a private traveler.

25 posted on 06/17/2009 10:20:27 PM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: KarlInOhio

... or real bonds that were converted from stimulus money that was being secretly sent to pay off someone, some company, or some country.


26 posted on 06/17/2009 10:35:15 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
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To: FromLori
But nobody knows where the two men are

LOL you want to see real magic? start waving around billions of dollars. You can make pretty much anything disappear
27 posted on 06/17/2009 10:53:14 PM PDT by wafflehouse (RE-ELECT NO ONE !)
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To: FromLori

At first, I thought that the bonds were real, on the grounds that a fake $500 million bearer bond would be (I thought) impossible to unload. But I was corrected with a 2002 story (http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2002/10/07/daily40.html) showing that bonds in this denomination are forged.

So I now believe that they are fake. Which makes the release of the two men very mysterious, and causes me to think it was a Mafia operation.

I’ll point out that if this is a government operation, it is NOT an operation to quietly unload T-bills. Completely bypassing the issue that bearer bonds are not needed to quietly unload something, a government could have stuck them in a diplomatic “black bag”. If this is a government operation, the intent was for the men to get caught, possibly to make an anonmyous gift of several billion to the cash-strapped Italians.


28 posted on 06/17/2009 10:59:56 PM PDT by TennesseeProfessor
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To: FromLori
In the United States the sale of “bearer bonds” has been essentially outlawed since 1982.

Two reasons:

(1) They abet money laundering, because, unlike currency, just one piece of paper might have been worth millions of dollars.

(2) It was often very complicated to track sales and to tax interest payments.

In 2009, all US Treasury bearer bonds have matured, but apparently some have still not been redeemed.

The amount of unredeemed Treasury bearer bonds is not completely clear to me.

One financial website claims “less than $5 billion,” and Wikipedia claims “$100 billion.”

There's a web page at “Treasury Direct” that appears to state the amount is $100 million.

In any event, it seems likely that this huge amount of smuggled bearer bonds is counterfeit.

The scam usually works like this...

The con man offers to sell the bearer bonds for a fraction of their value because the “real owner” can't risk cashing them in because “he'll be arrested” or “assessed huge tax penalties” or some other nonsense.

When the buyers take the bonds to the US Treasury to cash them in, the Treasury just confiscates the fraudulent bonds and the buyer loses 100% of his investment.

29 posted on 06/17/2009 11:00:27 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: FromLori

All your bonds are belong to us!


30 posted on 06/17/2009 11:02:48 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: TennesseeProfessor

Thank you Professor now I can stop wondering.


31 posted on 06/17/2009 11:06:13 PM PDT by FromLori (FromLori)
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To: FromLori

Japan holds over 600 Billion in US bonds. ...And Italian cops aren’t too hard to bribe.

I’ll bet $10 both of those guys are dead by now.


32 posted on 06/17/2009 11:09:29 PM PDT by Blue Collar Republican (3 fingers of Jim Beam in a dirty glass)
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To: Blue Collar Republican

Their bodies will never be found.

Dead men tell no tales....


33 posted on 06/17/2009 11:30:41 PM PDT by BP2 (I think, therefore I'm a conservative)
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To: FromLori
Did they just vanish ?

34 posted on 06/17/2009 11:41:05 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: FromLori

35 posted on 06/17/2009 11:54:27 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: Robert357
"On March 30, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Treasury Department estimates that about $134.5 billion remains under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP."

http://www.bankbryancave.com/tag/tarp/

36 posted on 06/18/2009 1:34:44 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: zeestephen

The outstanding amount of U.S. Treasuries bonds in bearer form is about $100 million. The Wikipedia entry was corrected to match the Treasury web site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearer_bonds
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/pd_bearregsec.pdf

I am not sure if there was a crime committed under Italian law if there was no attempt to pass the bonds off as genuine, or is it a crime merely to possess counterfeit certificates without the act of committing a fraud?


37 posted on 06/18/2009 10:17:59 AM PDT by patsw
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To: KarlInOhio
I'm still betting on real bonds which some country is trying to dump

It's not a government. If it was a government, they could have transported their bonds into Switzerland in a diplomatic pouch. Nor is it a company with enough clout with its own government to persuade it to transport the bonds for them.

The big question: what were the bonds doing in Italy in the first place?

38 posted on 06/18/2009 10:23:11 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money -- Thatcher)
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To: PapaBear3625
The big question: what were the bonds doing in Italy in the first place?

Switzerland is landlocked. Only way to get there is by auto or plane. The main emphasis would have been on not implicating the bond owners. The Japanese men caught were just transporters. Doubt if they were Japanese Mafia since in Japan everyone knows who the mafia are (or perhaps that explains the media blackout - anyone see images of these two smugglers ?). Heck the mafia in Japan has offices with the mafia gang name.

The problem with transporting the bonds in a diplomat pouch is it leaves a solid trail to the owning country.

39 posted on 06/18/2009 5:03:00 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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