28 October 2006

Pinochet's Gold?

The Torygraph indicated that the dictator Pinochet may have stashed away some £98 million in gold:

" HSBC has launched an investigation into allegations that the former Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet held a secret stash of gold worth £98m at a branch in Hong Kong.

The inquiry follows explosive claims in the Chilean press that investigators had uncovered an HSBC account holding 315,000 ounces of gold that could be tracked to the general."

However, the BBC reports that:

"Papers linking Chile's former military ruler, Augusto Pinochet, to alleged gold deposits worth $160m (£85.5m) in Hong Kong are fake, the HSBC bank says.

The London-based bank said in a statement it would continue to co-operate with Chilean investigators.

Chilean officials said it was now up to the justice system to decide if the allegations were based on false papers.

Lawyers for the general - who ruled between 1973 and 1990 - have denied the accusations as insulting and baseless.

The Chilean courts have stripped Gen Pinochet, 90, of the legal immunity he enjoyed as a former president in several cases, but he has yet to face trial.

He is facing charges for tax evasion in connection with his family's undisclosed foreign bank accounts, and also faces possible charges in connection with human rights abuses committed during his time in power."

Whilst the BBC article is a fine example of "neutrality", my bet is that Pinochet has a lot of stolen or drug money stashed away, even if it can not be proven at the moment.

No comments: