11 The National Bank of Ukraine just bough a bunch of lead bars painted gold. [you can't make this stuff up!]
Ukraine opened a criminal probe after several gold bars at the central bank’s storage in the southern city of Odessa turned to be painted lead.
"The management of the central bank’s branch in Odessa asked us to
investigate fraud by their employee," Volodymyr Shablienko, head of the
Odessa police’s press office, said by phone today. "We are conducting a
forensic audit now."
As Bloomberg explains, the latest gold fraud involved a central bank
employee passing lead bars covered with golden paint to the storage
unit, registering them as gold, the Vesti newspaper reported today,
citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the matter in Odessa’s
According to additional rt.com/business/216687-gold-missing-ukraine-bank/, the central bank was actually conned into buying the gold-plated lead.
Yes lead, not even tungsten.
RT adds that the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has confirmed the
theft of several kilograms of gold in the Odessa region. The cashier
involved has apparently fled to Crimea, Vesti Ukraine reports. Criminal
proceedings began on November 18, even though the scam apparently took
place between August and October.
In other words, when Ukraine still, allegedly, had some gold left.
Now it has no more gold, but at least it has some very expensive lead.
A preliminary investigation suggests the gang had someone working for
them inside the bank that forged the necessary paperwork to allow the
sale of the fake gold bullion. It’s also been discovered that bank staff
were not regularly checked when entering or exiting the premises.
Altogether some 11 kilograms of gold worth about $420,000 are missing.
And while one can laugh at the stupidity of a central bank duped into
believing gold-plated lead is the real deal, the real stunner is that
according to the First Deputy Central Bank Governor Oleksandr Pysaruk,
the central bank “took a principal decision that we will not buy gold
any more from the population. We are making conclusions internally,
including changing our procedures."
In other words, until December, the central bank would buy any
gold-plated lead, or tungsten, without any authenticity tests from any
member of the population, or in other words, exchanging its existing
reserves, i.e., gold (which it no longer has after converting most of it
into dollars), into lead.