It is evident that people will go to great lengths when it comes to protecting their financial futures. One US citizen has been detained in Bolivia as he carried over 121 pounds of gold on him during his travel. He also carried a minor amount of cocaine and several pounds of silver coins. Apparently, he took everything of value and converted it into assets that can be used to hedge against the falling bolivar.
Worth Its Weight In Gold
Bolivia, similarly to most South American countries, is going through a very rough economic patch right now. The country’s national currency is losing value rapidly, and there does not seem to be any improvement in sight. Cash is spent as quickly as it is earned to ensure that there will be no future losses where purchasing power is concerned.
That being said, one does make himself stand out a bit when transporting over one hundred pounds in gold. Add a few pounds worth of silver coins and a small amount of cocaine to the list, and it is only a matter of time until some questions are asked. In the case of the 76-year old US citizen in Bolivia, it remains unknown how long he was carrying these valuables on his person.
At the current valuations the gold alone is worth US$1.5m, or slightly more. That is quite a large sum of money to carry at any times, particularly when it is unknown how these precious metals were acquired to begin with. Moreover, no one knows how long this man has been living in Bolivia, or what his true intentions were.
One possible explanation is that this person decided to convert all of his fiat currency belongings into a different store of value. With banks offering negative interest rates, and tight capital controls affecting multiple regions around the world, alternative forms of finance are becoming more popular. Gold and silver have always had a global appeal, as they can be exchanged virtually anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to transport precious metals, and do so in a manner that raises little to no questions. When carrying around over 120 pounds of gold, one is not exactly conducting oneself in an inconspicuous manner by any means. Then again, it seems more likely that the amount of cocaine found on this man is the primary reason for his arrest.
For now the 76-year-old has not been officially charged with any crimes, although he remains detained for the time being. A thorough investigation has been launched, although it remains uncertain as to what the police hope to find. This is another example of why people should avoid converting their money assets when there is a possibility of third party seizure or control.
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