Screwtape questioned at the time the provenance of this story, and we also had concerns about the photos. We still have our doubts for this particular case. However, in an astonishing new development the Screwtape Files has come into possession of a new set of photographs of a different gold bar which has been pretty much incontrovertibly salted. The pictures are, as far as we can ascertain, entirely genuine and they came to us from a highly respected and well-placed source.
[IMPORTANT: To our knowledge, we are the first website to publish these pictures. Any reproduction of these pictures on other sites must be with the permission of the Screwtape Files, and must link back to this article.]
We cannot disclose our source, but the 1 kg bar was intercepted by police in Algeria, following the flight of gold from Libya after the NATO intervention last year. It was sent to Paris for expert analysis, and it is the results of this analysis that we are about to show you now. What you will see is at once shocking in its brazenness, and humbling in its ambition to defraud on a massive scale. We are told that there may be many hundreds of similar bars from the same shipment that were similarly salted.
The first three photographs show both halves of the bar after a clean incision was made with an industrial saw. One can clearly see that four 4 mm tungsten rods have been inserted along the length of the whole bar:
The next two pictures show the whole bar before and after the cut was made. As can be seen, there is no missing material. The bar is clearly genuine, and has been stamped with what I am reliably informed is the approval of the Bullion Refining Industry Examination:
Our source goes on to tell us that, given this finding, the French police are working through Interpol and in collaboration with their Algerian counterparts to determine the precise origin of the bars. Obviously the most pressing aspect of the case is a need to determine whether or not these bars were salted before or after they came into the possession of the Libyan Central Bank.
If the former, then it can only add weight to the theory that central banks the world over may have suffered from (or been party to) a global conspiracy to defraud goldbugs everywhere. The Screwtape Files will keep you informed of any subsequent developments as they occur.