Hong Kong Money Van Spills $4.5M

Police implore people who stopped to scoop up cash to return it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2014 12:32 PM CST
Hong Kong Money Van Spills $4.5M
People scrambled to scoop up cash after a security van transporting money for the Bank of China spilled $4.5 million on a Hong Kong thoroughfare.   (Bunda Channel)

"They looked like schoolkids who knew they were being naughty" is how one witness described the scene on a Hong Kong roadway to the South China Morning Post. What those dozens of people were doing: scooping up cash scattered in the street after a security van transporting what may have been up to $68 million for the Bank of China somehow scattered between $2.5 million and $4.5 million of it on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the Wan Chai district on Christmas Eve, according to reports. Taxi drivers and tourists abandoned their cabs and converged upon the bundled money and loose notes, and police are now imploring the public to return what isn't theirs. "If he or she keeps the money for [their] own use, [they] may commit an offense of theft, which is a very serious crime," the local police superintendent told reporters, as per the BBC.

Police are still trying to find out what caused the incident, though a spokeswoman for the G4S security firm tells the Post "something went wrong with the door on the left side." The van kept driving even after the cash fell out of the vehicle, with the guards on the truck unaware the money was missing, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. About $1.1 million is still missing, though at least two arrests have been made as police seek to identify more suspects. Cops tell the Post they found about $21,000 in the home of the first suspect under his bed. The second suspect, a female cosmetologist, is said to be a friend of the first suspect who was riding in a taxi with him when they came across the crash; their identity was reportedly fleshed out after police scoured over CCTV footage. A spokeswoman for G4S tells the Post "'it is for sure' G4S [is] liable to cover the lost funds." (More Hong Kong stories.)

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