A spokesman from the US bureau of the Public Debt said Wednesday that the $134 billion of U.S. bonds seized by Italy's financial police are “clearly fakes,” all through no official word has been issued from Italy.
Two weeks ago, according to the Italian authorities, two Japanese men were caught at the rail station with the seized bonds hidden in a briefcase. The notes included 249 securities worth $500 million each, and 10 additional bonds with a value of more than $1 billion. The seizure also included large amount of 'Kennedy bonds'.
They are clearly fakes, said Stephen Meyerhardt, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt in Washington.
That's beyond the fact that the face value is far beyond what's out there, he said. “No such 'Kennedy bonds' exist.”
According to U.S. Treasury records, it shows an estimated $105 billion in bearer bonds have yet to be surrendered, and most matured more than five years ago, he said, noting that the US Treasury stopped issuing bearer bonds in 1982.
Italy’s Guardia di Finanz, a highly specialized financial police agency, also expressed doubts about their authenticity, especially in the 'Kennedy bonds', but noted the others were so well made that it was hard to tell them apart from real ones.
The Japanese nationals who were caught bringing in the bonds have been released as they broke no laws, according to the Mainichi Shimbum, which sent a reporter to the Italian town of Chiasso where the men were arrested.