Italian financial police said Friday they were holding two Japanese men stopped on the Swiss border with U.S. bonds allegedly worth $134 billion, or nearly EUR100 billion.
The two middle-aged men were trying to enter Switzerland from Italy by train when they were checked by customs at Chiasso after saying they had nothing to declare.
The financial police at Como said 249 U.S. Federal Reserve bonds with a face value of $500 million each were found in a false-bottomed suitcase along with 10 so-called Kennedy bonds worth $1 billion apiece.
"We are trying to verify if these bonds are genuine," a police spokesman said.
If they are authentic, the Japanese face a fine of up to EUR38 billion for smuggling, the police said.