Chaos as $2.4m spills onto street

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 26 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Make it rain ... $2.4 million in cash littered Gloucester St in Hong Kong. Picture: South China Morning Post Source: Supplied

BOXES filled with more than $HK15 million ($2.4 million) in cash have spilt out of an armoured van onto a major Hong Kong highway, sparking a frenzy as drivers and passers-by tried to get their hands on the notes.

Traffic ground to a halt on Gloucester Road in central Hong Kong as taxi drivers rushed out of their cars to make a grab for the hundreds of banknotes scattered over the busy multi-lane highway.

TV footage showed pedestrians dashing in from the sidewalk to join in the Christmas Eve melee.

An eyewitness told South China Morning Postthey saw"a regular-looking Hong Kong lady" with "an armful of bricks of cash. It was as much as she could carry. She just disappeared into the depths of Wan Chai."

However police chief inspector Addy Li Chi-kin warned that anyone who found banknotes should return them immediately, or be arrested for theft.

Two people have already been detained after officers found about $HK165,000 in cash under one of their beds.

Cash grab ... police are searching for people who snatched money from a Hong Kong street. Picture: South China Morning Post Source: Supplied

Inspector Addy Li Chi-kin said about $HK5.69 million has been recovered after 30 persons surrendered the banknotes, but most is missing. Officers are reviewing CCTV footage and taking the licence plates of vehicles present at the time of the incident.

The bizarre incident unfolded on Christmas Eve after a money transport van owned by securities firm G4S began spilling cash.

The van was transporting HK$525 million in cash, divided into boxes.

Police Superintendent Wan Siu-hung said the driver of the van made it all the way to his destination, a half-hour's drive away, oblivious to the fact that his back door was open and the cash boxes had fallen out.

"When it (the van) arrived at its destination they discovered that the door was open," Wan told reporters, adding that police would use the serial numbers of the bills to conduct an investigation.

Bank of China, which hired G4S to deliver the banknotes, said in a statement that the security service company promised to pay for the losses.

"G4S has apologised for the incident and will hold liable to all the losses incurred based upon the contract engaged with BOCHK," the statement said,

Legal experts told local media that people who kept the banknotes would be committing larceny and could face up to 10 years in jail.

Until recently, several Hong Kong streets — including Gloucester St, had been blocked for nearly three months by protesters demanding democratic elections.

Pro-democracy protests ... protesters blockaded several Hong Kong streets for about three months. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

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