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Pinoy tourist says US$500b 'gold certificates' for Marcos charity

16 September 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

Defendant told the court Marcos himself
gave the gold certificates to him
A Filipino tourist accused of trying to pass off US$500 billion worth of fake gold certificates as genuine claimed he brought the documents to Hong Kong to verify the authenticity of the documents, according to the prosecution.

David Morano Jr pleaded not guilty to a charge of “using a false instrument” before District Court Judge David Dufton on Monday, Sept 16.

Prosecutor Frederic Whitehouse said Morano was arrested on Oct 29 last year while trying to transact business at HSBC headquarters in Central using the spurious gold certificates.

The defendant claimed the certificates and other documents seized from him came from a foundation linked to the late Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, set up for humanitarian projects.
The documents were a receipt for US$500 billion gold certificates in the name of Morano issued by “Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corp.” on Jun 12, 1983, four HSBC cards bearing his name and 12 documents certifying he owns the gold certificates.

The first prosecution witness, a female manager at HSBC whose staff was first approached by Morano to present the certificates, said the defendant claimed he wanted to verify the authenticity of the documents. He allegedly said the certificates were given to him by Marcos so he could set up a humanitarian foundation.
The witness, Ms So, said among the documents Morano presented were certifications from Marcos, the United States and the United Nations that he was the owner of the US$500 billion gold certificates.

On cross-examination by defense counsel Mr Hemmings, So said she concluded that the gold certificates, on A4-size gold-coated document, were fake when she noticed that the bank’s name was printed as “Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corp”.
She said the bank’s official name is Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.

The trial continues.
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