Billions in bullion shifted ahead of Dutch bank rebuild

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (AP) – This really was the gold standard of road trips.

The Netherlands’ central bank transported its Dutch-based stock of gold — 14,000 bars and about 1,000 boxes of gold coins — from its headquarters in Amsterdam to a safe in the nearby city of Haarlem in a meticulously and closely guarded operation that ended on Saturday, the bank said in a statement.

Along with the bullion worth EUR10 billion (USD11.7 billion), the bank also shifted bills worth another EUR4.5 billion (USD5.3 billion) in the operation that was led by the Royal Dutch Military Police.

The cash and gold travelled about 20 kilometres in trucks guarded by armed military police, police motorcycle outriders and with a police helicopter hovering overhead. The operation started on Friday and ended on Saturday afternoon. The military police said in a statement that the “carefully planned operation went smoothly and safely”.

The move comes ahead of renovations of the central bank’s Amsterdam offices and the permanent move of the gold and bank bills to a vault that has yet to be built in the central town of Zeist.

File photo shows reporters waiting outside the De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch national bank, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Netherlands’ central bank has moved its Dutch-based stock of gold from its headquarters in Amsterdam to a safe in the nearby city of Haarlem. PHOTO: AP