THE HAGUE – This really was the gold standard of road trips.
The Netherlands' central bank transported its Dutch-based stock of gold — 14,000 bars and about 1,000 boxes of gold coins — from its headquarters in Amsterdam to a safe in the nearby city of Haarlem in a meticulously and closely guarded operation that ended Saturday, the bank said in a statement.
Along with the bullion worth 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion), the bank also shifted bills worth another 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in the operation that was led by the Royal Dutch Military Police.
The cash and gold traveled about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) in trucks guarded by armed military police, police motorcycle outriders and with a police helicopter hovering overhead. The operation started Friday and ended Saturday afternoon.
The military police said in a statement that the “carefully planned operation went smoothly and safely.”
The move comes ahead of renovations of the central bank's Amsterdam offices and the permanent move of the gold and bank bills to a vault that has yet to be built in the central town of Zeist.
The Dutch central bank doesn't store all its gold in the Netherlands. It also has large reserves stored in the United States, Britain and Canada.