Make that a Belgian newspaper

Section:

9:55p EDT Thursday, September 28, 2000

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Thanks to a Dutch friend for translating the
following article and emailing it to us. One
more strange thing happening in the world of
gold.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

Surinam secretly sold its gold stock

De Financieel Economische
The Netherlands
September 28, 2000

The former Surinam government sold in secret almost the
whole gold stock of the central bank.

Of the 7,646 kilograms of gold that stands in the
books, only 147 kilograms are still present. This
according the the NRC Handelsblad, which refers to
Surinam Minister of Finance Humphrey Hildenberg.

On the basis of the current price, the gold sale made
Fl165 million (75 million euros) vanish. It is not
clear what happened to the money.

Hildenberg said in parliament that at the sale it was
arranged that Surinam could buy back the gold in due
time. But he added that Surinam could forget about this
gold because it doesn't have the disposal of enough
money for a buyback.

Hildenberg also said that Surinam has a foreign debt of
$380 million (430 million euros, but that the Finance
Department hasn't got a clear view of the precise
nature of these debts. Numerous payments happen via
"all sorts of links" and the former government had no
central overview of all these commitments.

The Minister has now instructed that all payments
should pass through his department.

Among other things, the two bridges that former
President Wijdenbosch had built weigh heavy upon the
budget. The construction company Ballast Nedam says the
state still has to pay $24 million for that. But
Hildenberg could not have confirmed this by his own
administration.

Parliament reacted indignantly to the statements of the
minister. Member of parliament Fred Derby pleaded for
prosecution and confinement of Henk Goedschalk, the
former director of the central bank. His colleague
Jiwan Sital asked for explanation of the national debt,
which, according to the government audit office, is
$100 million lower than the amount the minister quoted.