Paper Money

Hong Kong notes 'rain' down on citizens

About $49,000 worth of Hong Kong bank notes 'rained' down on a street in Hong Kong on Feb. 26, 2015, according to a story published Feb. 28 on the South China Morning Post website.

But this time, no one was seen taking the money, unlike what happened Christmas Eve when onlookers scrambled to pocket some of the HK$52.5 million worth of bank notes that fell out of the back of a security van on Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, only to be arrested and prosecuted.

A video posted online showed that people this time only stood beside the bank notes, taking photographs.

“Don't pick ‘em up!” one witness was heard shouting as a reminder.

One onlooker later placed the money in a paper box, ready for the police. Others picked up notes, scrubbing them as if to check they were real, then put them back on the ground.

Police confirmed a report of "objects falling from a height" at about 9:45 p.m., near the Fuk Cheong Building. A spokesman later said some 49 HK$1,000 bank notes had fallen to the ground.

A man, believed to be mentally ill, who allegedly threw the money out of a flat in the building, was taken away by police.

The cash grab frenzy in Wan Chai on Christmas Eve happened after a van owned by G4S spilled large bundles of bank notes over a busy road.

In January 2015, a magistrate handed down a five-month jail term to Lui Luen-yung, a 43-year-old recycling trader who stole HK$161,500 during the incident. Magistrate Li Kwok-wai said such people “got crazy and threw away their [good sense] in flagrant disregard of the law," describing the incident which was beamed around the world as “the most stunning scene I have ever seen.” 

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