ROME—Italian authorities have confiscated $20 billion in counterfeit U.S. government bonds.
Authorities say the bonds were of a quality that theoretically could have defrauded financial institutions.
But a stop at a highway rest area where a group of Carabinieri military police were taking a break proved to be the undoing of the group.
A Carabinieri statement said officers did a routine search of the vehicles after the "suspicious" behaviour of the men and found "to their surprise" a briefcase with 40 bonds 0each valued at $500 million.
Officials said Wednesday that U.S. officials confirmed the bonds were counterefeit. The six men are under investigation for receiving stolen goods.