The times have been good lately for some lucky plumbers in Geneva,
Switzerland. According to multiple media reports, tens of thousands of
euros in cut-up €500 notes were found flushed down the toilets and
clogging the pipes near the vault area of a UBS bank branch in
downtown Geneva. Then, several days later, more were discovered in a
few area restaurants. Thousands of francs were required to pay for
undoing the expensive mess.
U.S. Mint welcomes a fourth metal to the
American Eagle bullion program.
Also in this week’s print issue of Coin World, we teach our readers
about what a “weak-fatty” gold coin is and why you don’t want one in
The incidents are being investigated by authorities, and the Geneva
Tribune says that a local lawyer has been questioned. The Geneva
prosecutor’s office told the BBC that it was trying to determine where
the notes came from and whether there was a crime involved, even
though destroying bank notes is not illegal in Switzerland.
Business Insider said on Sept. 19 that two Spain nationals
were responsible and that their lawyer indicated that the pair had
compensated the restaurants for the damage. He did not specify the
method of payment.
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The €500 note was in the news in 2016 when the European Central Bank
said that, although the note would remain legal tender, it would stop
printing them and start taking them out of circulation in 2018. This
is part of a campaign to make illegal transactions such as money
laundering more difficult. The Swiss 1,000-franc note, valued at about
$1,030, remains popular and the number in circulation is on the increase.