Flush with cash: Mystery over €500 notes in Geneva toilets

Swiss prosecutors investigate attempt to flush away tens of thousands of euro

 Swiss prosecutors are trying to figure out why someone apparently attempted to flush tens of thousands of euro down the toilet at a Geneva branch of UBS Group AG.  File photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters

Swiss prosecutors are trying to figure out why someone apparently attempted to flush tens of thousands of euro down the toilet at a Geneva branch of UBS Group AG. File photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters

 

Swiss prosecutors are trying to figure out why someone apparently attempted to flush tens of thousands of euro down the toilet at a Geneva branch of UBS Group AG.

The first €500 bills were discovered several months ago in a bathroom close to a bank vault containing hundreds of safe deposit boxes at the branch, according to a report in Tribune de Genève confirmed by the city prosecutor’s office.

A few days later, more banknotes turned up in toilets at three nearby restaurants, requiring thousands of francs in plumbing repairs to unclog the pipes.

In all, police have extracted tens of thousands of euro in soiled bills, many of which appear to have been cut with scissors.

While destroying banknotes isn’t a crime in Switzerland, “there must be something behind this story”, said Henri Della Casa, a spokesman for the Geneva prosecutor’s office. “That’s why we started an investigation.”

He declined to discuss the case further. UBS also declined to comment on the incident at its branch on the Rue de la Corraterie in downtown Geneva.

Bloomberg