A Hong Kong cash spill quickly caught the attention of last-minute Christmas shoppers on Wednesday, when millions of dollars contained within three plastic cash boxes tumbled from a money transport van onto a busy street. Cash totaling nearly 15.23 million Hong Kong dollars spilled onto Gloucester Road in the city’s Wan Chai district around noon on Christmas Eve. Eight lanes of traffic came to a stop as drivers exited their vehicles to collect the cash and pedestrians walked into the street to do the same.
Onlookers and bystanders were quick to turn the Hong Kong cash spill into a free-for-all money grab, swiping more than 10 million off the street before authorities arrived to restore order to the scene, which the New York Times described as a “blizzard” of cash. The crisp, new 500 dollar bank notes were packed in bundles when they fell from the van but fluttered loose in the breeze after being liberated from their containers. The equivalent of approximately $2 million U.S. dollars is still missing after the incident.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, an armored truck in Cranston, Rhode Island, overturned earlier this year, spilling cash onto the road. The Garda armored truck crashed at the Reservoir Avenue overpass, forcing southbound traffic to be diverted onto the exit for northbound Reservoir Avenue. When the vehicle overturned, it dumped white canvas bags and clear plastic bags filled with money on the asphalt. The shocking sight quickly drew a crowd of interested bystanders, some of whom may have collected an unknown amount of the spilled cash.
In Hong Kong, at least two people were arrested after the cash spill on Christmas Eve. According to CNN, a 36-year-old woman was placed under arrest in Tseung Kwan O (a.k.a. Cheung Kwan O, or Junk Bay), and a 43-year-old man was taken into custody in Kowloon after allegedly hiding money in their respective homes. Twenty-nine other opportunists who got their hands on some of the dough ended up returning the money; they probably won’t face charges connected with the impromptu money grab. Local police cautioned that those who fail to return any cash they obtained after the spill may be guilty of theft, and urged people to return the funds as soon as possible.
Officials are uncertain what caused the bank notes to fall from the transport van.
Comments are welcome. Do you think the missing millions from the recent Hong Kong cash spill will be returned?
[Image of Hong Kong via morgueFile]