- Kris McKay/Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Someone in the Swiss city of Geneva has been trying to flush tens of thousands of euros down toilets.
Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation after the first 500-euro note was found several months ago in a bathroom close to a bank vault at the Geneva branch of the financial company UBS, Bloomberg reported.
More notes were found a few days later in toilets at three nearby restaurants – and thousands of Swiss francs have now been spent on unclogging pipes filled with notes.
The police have recovered tens of thousands of euros, many of which seem to have been cut before being flushed.
Destroying banknotes is not a crime in Switzerland, but Swiss prosecutors are intrigued. “There must be something behind this story,” Henri Della Casa, a spokesman for the Geneva prosecutor’s office, told Bloomberg. “That’s why we started an investigation.”
The European Central Bank is phasing out the 500-euro note, which will officially go out of circulation by the end of 2018. The move is down to concerns that the notes are largely being used for illegal activities like money laundering and smuggling.