Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Crude Oil – A Slight Move Higher Has Not Reversed The Bearish Trend - 20th Sep 20
Do This Instead Of Trying To Find The “Next Amazon” - 20th Sep 20
5 Significant Benefits of the MT4 Trading Platform for Forex Traders - 20th Sep 20
A Warning of Economic Collapse - 20th Sep 20
The Connection Between Stocks and the Economy is not What Most Investors Think - 19th Sep 20
A Virus So Deadly, The Government Has to Test You to See If You Have It - 19th Sep 20
Will Lagarde and Mnuchin Push Gold Higher? - 19th Sep 20
RTX 3080 Mania, Ebay Scalpers Crazy Prices £62,000 Trollers Insane Bids for a £649 GPU! - 19th Sep 20
A Greater Economic Depression For The 21st Century - 19th Sep 20
The United Floor in Stocks - 19th Sep 20
Mobile Gaming Market Trends And The Expected Future Developments - 19th Sep 20
The S&P 500 appears ready to correct, and that is a good thing - 18th Sep 20
It’s Go Time for Gold Price! Next Stop $2,250 - 18th Sep 20
Forget AMD RDNA2 and Buy Nvidia RTX 3080 FE GPU's NOW Before Price - 18th Sep 20
Best Back to School / University Black Face Masks Quick and Easy from Amazon - 18th Sep 20
3 Types of Loans to Buy an Existing Business - 18th Sep 20
How to tell Budgie Gender, Male or Female Sex for Young and Mature Parakeets - 18th Sep 20
Fasten Your Seatbelts Stock Market Make Or Break – Big Trends Ahead - 17th Sep 20
Peak Financialism And Post-Capitalist Economics - 17th Sep 20
Challenges of Working from Home - 17th Sep 20
Sheffield Heading for Coronavirus Lockdown as Covid Deaths Pass 432 - 17th Sep 20
What Does this Valuable Gold Miners Indicator Say Now? - 16th Sep 20
President Trump and Crimes Against Humanity - 16th Sep 20
Slow Economic Recovery from CoronaVirus Unlikely to Impede Strong Demand for Metals - 16th Sep 20
Why the Knives Are Out for Trump’s Fed Critic Judy Shelton - 16th Sep 20
Operation Moonshot: Get Ready for Millions of New COVAIDS Positives in the UK! - 16th Sep 20
Stock Market Approaching Correction Objective - 15th Sep 20
Look at This Big Reminder of Stock Market Mania - 15th Sep 20
Three Key Principles for Successful Disruption Investors - 15th Sep 20
Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Warns of 10% Inflation - 15th Sep 20
Gold Price Reaches $2,000 Amid Dollar Depreciation - 15th Sep 20
GLD, IAU Big Gold ETF Buying MIA - 14th Sep 20
Why Bill Gates Is Betting Millions on Synthetic Biology - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market SPY Expectations For The Rest Of September - 14th Sep 20
Gold Price Gann Angle Update - 14th Sep 20
Stock Market Recovery from the Sharp Correction Goes On - 14th Sep 20
Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
The Silver Big Prize - 13th Sep 20
U.S. Shares Plunged. Is Gold Next? - 13th Sep 20
Why Are 7,500 Oil Barrels Floating on this London Lake? - 13th Sep 20
Sheffield 432 Covid-19 Deaths, Last City Centre Shop Before Next Lockdown - 13th Sep 20
Biden or Trump Will Keep The Money Spigots Open - 13th Sep 20
Gold And Silver Up, Down, Sideways, Up - 13th Sep 20
Does the Stock Market Really "See" the Future? - 12th Sept 20
Basel III and Gold, Silver and Platinum - 12th Sept 20
Tech Stocks FANG Index Nearing Critical Support – Could Breakout At Any Moment - 12th Sept 20
The Tech Stocks Quantum AI EXPLOSION is Coming! - 12th Sept 20
AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 4000 Questions Answered on Cores, Prices, Benchmarks and Threadripper Launch - 12th Sept 20
The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
Gold / Silver Ratio: Slowly I Toined… - 11th Sep 20
Stock Market Correction or Reversal? The Jury Isn't Out! - 11th Sep 20
Crude Oil – The Bearish Outlook Remains - 11th Sep 20
Crude Oil Breaks Lower – Sparking Fears Of Another Sub $30 Price Collapse - 11th Sep 20
Inflation by Fiat - 10th Sep 20
Unemployment Rate Drops. Will It Drag Gold Down? - 10th Sep 20
How Does The Global Economy Recover After This Global Pandemic? - 10th Sep 20
The Best Mobile Casino - 10th Sep 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Government Raids and Seizures- How Safe Is Your Gold?

Commodities / Gold & Silver Jun 06, 2008 - 01:48 PM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock


Minyan "SC" is concerned about gold in safe deposit boxes. Just how safe is it? "SC" asks:

There is a disturbing comment by Jim Sinclair about safe deposit boxes in Britain not being so safe from the prying eyes of the government.

As a GoldMoney customer, I want to hear from James Turk on this. I waited to try GoldMoney until they added Swiss storage because I didn't trust UK. I thought the Swiss storage option would be bulletproof, but Sinclair says "nope".

I have my main offshore allocation in the Perth Mint down in Australia. I wonder if that will mean a damn thing when the SHTF.

Is backyard burial the only option? Same as 500 years ago?

Safe Deposit Boxes Raided

The article to which "SC" is referring is Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns .
Police have seized a potential £1 billion “treasure trove” of cash, drugs and guns in an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.

More than 300 officers and staff were involved in simultaneous raids at three depots in London's Park Lane, Hampstead and Edgware. Officers have secured the concrete and steel vaults and will take several weeks to remove each box, using angle grinders, to a secret location where they will be prized open with diamond-tipped drills.

It is believed that a top tier of criminal masterminds may have rented out “the majority” of the boxes.

Jim Sinclair's Commentary

What happens in Great Britain happens in the U.S.A. and vice versa. The action reported [above] erases what semblance of privacy any of us have left.

This invasion of safety deposit boxes in Great Britain is quite a serious event and throws a major spanner into any hope for bullion safe deposits with a guarantee of privacy.

Concerns In Canada

Bloomberg is reporting Gold Web Sites Used to Finance Terrorism . Canada's financial intelligence agency said criminals may be using Internet-based companies that sell electronic gold to launder money or finance terrorists, the Globe and Mail reported.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada said Web sites that offer transactions in units backed by gold and silver have reached a critical mass and are allowing millions of transactions, the Globe said today, citing a report obtained through access-to-information legislation.

The Web sites allow individuals to move money around the world and bypass financial reporting rules set up by countries such as the U.S., the U.K. and Canada after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the newspaper said.

Reply From James Turk

Hi Mish

Thanks for bringing this post to my attention and giving me the opportunity to respond. I am in London and have therefore been reading about the raid of the safe deposit boxes. I don't know if you are aware of it, but there was a similar raid of safe deposit boxes in California not too long ago.

Every storage choice comes with pros and cons. And each individual probably weighs up those pros and cons differently. For example, burying some metal in the backyard or someplace else you consider to be safe may not be a bad idea, but it may not be for everyone. Also, it comes with some downside. It is not a very liquid asset, and is it really safe? Someone with a metal detector could easily locate a buried stash.

To me, it seems the best answer for storage is diversification. In other words, make arrangements to store your metal in different ways. But you have two basic constraints. You can either store the metal yourself, or hire someone to store it for you (which is what we do in GoldMoney). There are no other alternatives, so you have to achieve diversification within these two alternatives.

With regard to the first alternative, if you feel comfortable with it, go ahead and store some metal at home or work, or wherever you think it may be safe and if you think it is not at risk. But don't put all your eggs in one basket, and don't store all your metal in the country where you live. In this regard, GoldMoney can help to achieve some diversification with vaults in the UK and Switzerland (and we plan to add more vault locations in the future to give our customers more choices to achieve geographic diversification). And of course, GoldMoney customers get exceptional liquidity because they can easily convert their gold back into a national currency, or even use their gold as a form of payment by 'clicking' it to another GoldMoney customer.

There are a couple of other points I would like to make. It is actually GoldMoney that stores in the UK the gold and silver owned by our customers, and Via Mat Int'l, the vault operator, does not know who our customers are. Via Mat is storing the metal for GoldMoney's customers, but rely upon us to make sure we comply with today's know-your-customer and anti-money laundering regulations. All customer data is kept in the Channel Islands, which is where we operate and where we are regulated, which brings up another important point.

The safe deposit operator in the UK appears to be a target because according to some press reports I read, they were not following required anti-money laundering procedures. The directors of the company were charged with breaking UK law. Therefore, in this sense, the UK raid has some similarity to what happened a few months ago with the Bank of Liechtenstein.

The BoL too had become a target for gov'ts because as I understand it, BoL was not following OECD requirements on anti-money laundering. In contrast, storing metal with GoldMoney is different because we of course are not a target because we are regulated in the Channel Islands by its Financial Services Commission, and we follow the letter of the law there.

Whether the raid in the UK was justified or not, I cannot say. But clearly, one has to be very careful about where they place their assets. And sadly, a lot of damage to individuals' property rights is being done in the name of anti-money laundering and other gov't schemes.

Lastly, regarding the Perth Mint reference, I would just like to point out that one does not own physical metal when they own a certificate. They instead own a liability of the firm issuing the certificate, which is why the Perth Mint certificates come with the guarantee of the government of Western Australia. Each individual has to decide whether that guarantee is sufficient incentive for them to own the Mint's liability instead of actual physical metal. In other words, a "certificate" is not a "storage receipt". Unfortunately, many people do not understand the difference.



Shocking Raid In California

The raid in California that James Turk referred to is quite shocking. Let's take a closer look at Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes : States Seize Citizens' Property to Balance Their Budgets .

The 50 U.S. states are holding more than $32 billion worth of unclaimed property that they're supposed to safeguard for their citizens. But a "Good Morning America" investigation found some states aggressively seize property that isn't really unclaimed and then use the money -- your money -- to balance their budgets.

San Francisco resident Carla Ruff's safe-deposit box was drilled, seized, and turned over to the state of California, marked "owner unknown."

"I was appalled," Ruff said. "I felt violated."

Unknown? Carla's name was right on documents in the box at the Noe Valley Bank of America location. So was her address -- a house about six blocks from the bank. Carla had a checking account at the bank, too -- still does -- and receives regular statements. Plus, she has receipts showing she's the kind of person who paid her box rental fee. And yet, she says nobody ever notified her.

To make matters worse, Ruff discovered the loss when she went to her box to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. Those papers had been shredded.

And that's not all. Her great-grandmother's precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

California's Class Action Lawsuit

Ruff is not alone. Attorney Bill Palmer represents her and countless other citizens in a class action lawsuit against the state of California.

California law used to say property was unclaimed if the rightful owner had had no contact with the business for 15 years. But during various state budget crises, the waiting period was reduced to seven years, and then five, and then three. Legislators even tried for one year. Why? Because the state wanted to use that free money.

Seizing More Than Safe-Deposit Boxes

It's not just safe-deposit boxes. A British man went to retire and discovered the $4 million in U.S. stock he had been counting on had been seized and sold for $200,000 years earlier -- even though he was in touch with the company about other matters.

A Sacramento family lost out on railroad land rights their ancestors had owned for generations -- also sold off as unclaimed property.

California's unclaimed property program was so out of control that, last year, the courts issued injunctions barring the state from seizing any more property until it made reforms.

Once unclaimed property is delivered to the state, it is now held for several months while the state tries to contact the owners, rather than it being immediately sold off or destroyed.

Is Anyone Really Lost?

Which raises the question, in the Internet era, is anybody really lost anymore? California and other states are just beginning to make use of modern databases that can find most anyone in minutes. Unfortunately, California only uses those databases to search after it has already seized a citizen's property. How Safe Do You Feel Now?

Those are lengthy snips but from a very large article. Inquiring minds will want to read the entire thing. One thing's for sure: It's hard to feel 100% safe about safe deposit boxes, at least in California, and now it seems London, and arguably Canada.

Full Disclosure

I have an account at GoldMoney and I am also part of the GoldMoney affiliate program. That means if you open up a GoldMoney account from my blog I benefit. I have no concerns about holding gold at GoldMoney, at least in comparison to holding it anywhere else. Safety it seems, is now relative. However, as noted above, I cannot be considered a completely unbiased reference.

Final Thoughts

I am highly suspicious of the claim that terrorists are hiding out in gold. It is not that easy to move around, controls are amazingly tight, and with every government nosing around in it, it would seem to me to be the one of the last places terrorists would attempt to hold money.

Regardless, make no mistake about this: Gold Is Money . Proof is easy to find. Gold acts like money, it is money. And governments sure are treating gold as if it was money, aren't they? Actions speak louder than words.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance, low volatility, regardless of market direction. Visit to learn more about wealth management for investors seeking strong performance with low volatility. You are currently viewing my global economics blog which has commentary 7-10 times a week. I am a "professor" on Minyanville. My Minyanville Profile can be viewed at: I do weekly live radio on KFNX the Charles Goyette show every Wednesday. When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at

© 2008 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

Mike Shedlock Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


10 Jun 08, 15:24
Banks are not trustworthy

I've never felt comfortable having my real valuables in any bank. I feel better off if I burry them in the backyard.

13 Dec 08, 12:53
Terrorists and Gold?

Of course terrorists use gold. They're called Central Bankers. The Bush family is an excellent example.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules