Criminal masterminds and Hollywood scriptwriters have been put on notice. Germany's central bank is planning to shift 54,000 gold bars worth 27 billion euros from Paris and New York to its base in Frankfurt, one of the biggest publicly announced shipments of the precious metal on record.
Not to make it too easy for anyone planning a series of heists, the Bundesbank declined to say exactly how it would transport the gold, or exactly when.
But between now and 2020, all 374 tonnes of gold bars, each one weighing 12.5kg, stored at the Banque de France will have been moved – probably by truck – to their new home in the vaults below the Bundesbank's grey 1960s office block in an unfashionable corner of Frankfurt.
Simultaneously, an operation will start to repatriate 300 tonnes of Germany's 1,500 tonnes of gold on deposit at New York Federal Reserve, this time probably by airplane in small batches of 3-5 tonnes in order to be able to insure it, gold traders said.
It is the first time the Bundesbank has decided to tell the world that it is about to move lots of gold around ahead of time.
In doing so, it is following in the footsteps of some odd bedfellows, including Venezuela, Iran and Libya, who were typically trying to get ahead of possible asset seizures as a result of international sanctions.