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A joint operation by Italian and Swiss authorities has resulted in the seizure of $6 trillion of fake U.S. Treasury bonds, Reuters reports.The bonds were seized by Italian police from a trust company in Zurich back in January but the move was only announced today. 8 people were arrested in relation to the operations, called “Operation Vulcanica.”
Bloomberg says the US embassy in Rome has examined the bonds, dated from 1934 and worth almost half of the total US national debt.
AFP reports that the investigation began with a mafia-network in the southern Italian Basilicata region, but expanded to an international network. The bonds appeared to be being used in emerging markets — curiously, Bloomberg reports that the individuals arrested had been trying to buy plutonium from Nigerian sources.
Two checks issued by HSBC and not backed by funds were also discovered.
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