Chinese bank staff close to retching counting huge stash of mouldy notes hidden under bed

Money was stored by elderly couple for three years at their home in Sichuan province, according to newspaper report

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 1:07pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 1:07pm

Employees at a bank in southwest China spent 11 hours fighting back the urge to vomit while counting 200,000 yuan (US$29,400) of fetid, mouldy banknotes stored by an old couple under their bed for three years, a local newspaper reported.

The cash was given to the couple at a village in Chengdu in Sichuan province for safe keeping by their daughter three years ago, the Chengdu Commercial Daily reported.

The daughter, who needed the money for the down payment on a house, asked her parents to give her the money back.

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When the three of them opened the box where her parents hid the cash under their bed, they were shocked to find the banknotes covered in mould and sticky.

The daughter stuffed the money into a shopping bag and brought it to a bank the first thing the next morning, hoping to exchange the notes.

“The smell was very pungent, with a rotten odour,” the manager of the bank told the newspaper, adding that a bank teller immediately started retching after she opened the shopping bag.

Six employees were tasked to count the banknotes. They stayed two extra hours at work, but still could not finish it and had to continue the next morning.

“We had to separate each note from each other, one by one. We have to be very cautious,” an employee was quoted as saying.

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They also had to dry the money with a hair dryer before they could put them into a currency checker.

“We had to insert each banknote into the machine many times even after blow drying them,” the employee said.

About a third of the banknotes were damaged and 247 “crumbled at the slightest touch”, he said.

The bank finally exchanged 193,000 yuan for the daughter.