The Gold Conspiracy
The Gold Conspiracy
Luxembourg, Banque Privée de Luxembourg, 0730 Hours. Frank Semeyer briskly turned into the Avenue Amélie and parked his BMW fifty yards further on with a spirited swerve in the bank's customer parking lot. The slightly dull, black metallic paintwork indicated that his car had seen better days. It had been a present to himself when his company, Semeyer Auto Parts, SEFAKO KG, had still been extremely profitable.
Semeyer was late and sprinted up the stairs to the entrance. The receptionist recognized him instantly and buzzed him through the door which automatically closed behind him. Semeyer and his firm had been with the BPL, the Banque Privée de Luxembourg, for what seemed like forever.
"Good morning, Mr. Semeyer. Mr. Bellini is expecting you," the woman at the front desk greeted him with a smile. She got up and escorted him through the foyer.
How kind , Semeyer thought, who knew very well how to find Mauro Bellini's office. Ever since he had started banking with the BPL, Mauro had looked after his accounts. He knew everything about Semeyer's business and hadn't changed office in the meantime.
The receptionist opened the door for the visitor. "Mr. Semeyer is here, Mr. Bellini."
"Lovely to see you, Frank!" Mauro Bellini welcomed him.
"Good morning, Mauro."
"How are you?"
"Well, I'm not exactly looking forward to today's transaction," Semeyer replied. "And how are you ?"
"I'm fine, thank you."
Without it having been mentioned, Mauro Bellini was well aware of the purpose of his client's visit today. SEFAKO had suffered badly through the China crisis. The company's costly expansion had led to more and more financial difficulties over the past two years.
"How was the freeway? Real busy?"
"Pretty much so," was Semeyer's short reply.
Heavy traffic had easily added an extra thirty minutes to the ride from his office in Saarbrücken to Luxembourg. His BMW M5 Touring's five liter engine and 507 horsepower hadn't made the least bit of difference.
"Can I get you some coffee or water?"
Mauro didn't bother offering tea. In all those years his client had never asked for it.
"No, thank you."
"Have a seat." Mauro gestured towards a comfortable armchair in front of an elegant Louis XVI style table.
"No, thanks," Semeyer said again. "Can we go straight to the vault? I'm in a bit of a rush today."
"Sure, Frank, certainly," Mauro Bellini replied and got up. He put on his suit jacket and led the way. At the elevator, he typed in a number combination and placed his right hand on the scanner beside it. The door opened and they rode down to the strongroom. They swiftly walked along the corridor. Whitewashed concrete walls; rooms with heavily protected doors lined the left and right. Bellini stopped outside one of them. A number combination and scanner also opened this one.
"I'll wait outside, Frank," Bellini explained the usual procedure.
Without answering, Frank Semeyer stepped into the vault, the heavy door closing behind him. He walked straight over to the data terminal in the middle of the room, entered the number of his deposit box and then a secret PIN before placing his hand on the scanner. The vault door locked itself with a dull, metallic thud. Nobody could enter from the outside now. Semeyer had complete privacy.
All the walls were lined with safe deposit boxes from top to bottom. Each box the same size, the same design, brushed stainless steel, all of them with an invisible 12 point bolt locking system, interior hinges. The only difference was the numbers engraved on them.
A few seconds later Frank Semeyer's box opened automatically. He extracted the steel container and lifted the lid to reveal a single gold bar besides various documents. After the turn of the millennium, when the economy was booming, SEFA