The pulse is up on news that today Italian police seized fake U.S. Treasury bonds with a face value of a cool $6 trillion. That’s more than a third of the U.S. national debt.
The counterfeits were discovered in a Zurich, Switzerland warehouse as part of an investigation into mafia activity in the Vulture-Melfese area in the southern Basilicata region, according to the BBC.
Contained in three metal trunks bearing the inscription “Chicago Federal Reserve System,” the fake bonds were printed printed in $1 billion denominations and treated to look like they dated back to 1934.
Those attempting to perpetrate the fraud were trying to sell them to developing nations. Arrest warrants have been issued for eight suspects who’ve been linked with trying to buy plutonium from unnamed Nigerian sources.
Investigators who uncovered the attempted fraud said the forgeries presented “severe threats” to international economic security.