- FRANKFURT — It was not a glamorous Hollywood-style bank heist. No tunnels. No rappelling from helicopters. Not even a single ski mask.
Just an unusually heavy carry-on bag, which a female flight attendant struggled to carry through Frankfurt’s airport after arriving from China.
But when curious customs agents took a look, they found evidence that may have helped them crack one of the biggest frauds in history against the Bundesbank, Germany’s august central bank. Authorities say the fraud has cost the bank about 6 million euros, or $8.5 million.
Inside the flight attendant’s bag, the authorities say, were thousands of 1-euro and 2-euro coins that had supposedly been scrapped after years of use but had been methodically reconstructed so they could be cashed in.
At the time, it wasn't clear how coins could have been reassembled, since they were typically badly damaged before being sold for scrap.
- A court in the eastern province of Zhejiang has sentenced three men for a new multinational business – retrieving thousands of coins from old clothes transported in waste containers to China and exchanging them for euros at seven banks in Germany.
Similar story: Chinese brothers-in-law jailed for total of eight years for buying 10 tons of scrap coins and cleaning them before selling them back to country of origin.