Chinese workmen find stash worth US$8,400 hidden in ceiling
Cash returned to family of original owner who died without telling heirs where he had put his money
A mysterious package containing 56,000 yuan (US$8,400) in cash has been found by decorators renovating a home in northern China.
It fell from the ceiling of the house in Dalian, Liaoning province, as a repairman was hammering in the bathroom on Monday morning.
The house’s owner, a woman surnamed Xia, said she rushed to the bathroom after hearing a loud bang, City Express reported on Wednesday.
Xia and the workmen were astonished to discover that the grubby plastic bag contained wads of cash sealed in several envelopes.
The men tried to take the cash and leave, but Xia marched them to the local police station to report the unexpected find.
Since Xia had only bought the house in August, she thought that it might have belonged to the previous owner, whom she knew was an old man surnamed Liu who had died.
Police returned the money to the family of Liu’s son after an investigation concluded it had indeed belonged to the old man, who once mentioned the money in passing to his brother.
The old man had died suddenly a few years ago, without leaving a will.
Before the house was put up for sale, the family searched high and low for the hoard, but with no luck.
Police thought the money was likely to have belonged to the original owner, but since the property was rented for a short time after his death, they did not rush to conclusions immediately.
After further investigation, they found that the banknotes were grouped together neatly, with one 100 yuan note wrapped around 900 yuan to form a wad of 1,000 yuan in total.
This exactly matched Liu Junior’s description of how his father used to sort cash, so the police could safely conclude that it belonged to him.
The cash packets also contained slips of paper noting a series of dates after 2010.
Police found out from neighbours that Liu’s father moved into the property in 2008, making the true owner of the cash even clearer.
The tenant who rented the property soon after the father’s death also confirmed that they had never left any money there.
Some of the banknotes were found slightly stuck together, but the money was in otherwise good condition despite having been stored for years.
Liu’s family were so grateful to Xia for keeping the money safe and reporting it to the police that they gave her 5,000 yuan as a token of thanks for her honesty.