Someone cut up 500-euro bills and flushed them down the toilets at a UBS bank branch in Geneva, Switzerland, and three restaurants nearby.
In U.S. dollars, the bills were worth about $600 each and totaled tens of thousands of dollars, the BBC reported.
Destroying money is not against the law in Switzerland, but investigators are looking into what’s behind the incident. Switzerland is not part of the European Union but is surrounded by EU countries where the euro is used.
“We’re trying to find out where the notes came from and whether a crime has been committed,” Geneva prosecutor’s office representative Vincent Derouand told the BBC. “Clearly it’s very surprising.”
The flushed euros were found over the course of several months in different incidents.
There must be something behind this story,” spokesman Henri Della Casa said, Bloomberg reported. “That’s why we started an investigation.”
Thousands of Swiss francs have been spent to try to repair the pipes and remove the euros, the BBC said.
According to NPR, a Geneva newspaper, the Tribune de Geneve, reported a Spanish lawyer has paid for the repairs, but no reason was given for his payment.
The 500-euro notes are scheduled to be withdrawn in 2018 because officials suspect they may be commonly be used in illegal activities.
Twitter users were as confused about the flushed euros as the investigators, although at least one person did suggest a visit to Switzerland to search some toilets for cash.
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