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Clogged drain? Could mean toilet is flush with cash

Geneva, Switzerland | AFP | If someone tells you they flushed more than a hundred grand down the toilet, chances are they’re referring figuratively to a bad investment, or an outrageous extravagance.

But in Switzerland, prosecutors have opened an investigation into why two people literally tried to cram about 100,000 euros ($120,000) in 500 euro notes down toilets in three Geneva restaurants and an office of banking giant UBS.

The notes “had probably been cut with scissors”, Geneva prosecution spokesman Vincent Derouand told AFP, confirming the May incident first reported by the Tribune de Geneve newspaper.

Derouand said the investigation would first focus on whether the cash was connected to any illegal activity because destroying — or attempting to flush — bank notes is not a crime in Switzerland.

Police were alerted to the case after the restaurants complained that their toilets had been clogged, the spokesman said.

Later, “a lawyer representing the people who flushed the notes came by and compensated them” for the cost of plumbing repairs, Derouand said.

The UBS branch involved is in central Geneva and hosts a wealth management office of Switzerland’s largest bank, Geneva prosecutors said.

Notes were discovered in toilets near the area where the bank has vaults, Derouand said.

UBS declined to comment on the story.

Derouand did not discuss the identity of the suspects, but the paper said they were two Spanish women who had stashed the money in a safe.

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