German scrapyard workers find fortune in discarded safe

31st January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Bank employees forgot to remove 170,000 euros from the safe before disposing of it.

Berlin -- It was the kind of discovery that scavengers and beachcombers only dream about.   

Scrap yard workers in the German town of Henningsdorf couldn't believe their eyes when they found a safe containing 170,000 euros (222,500 dollars) that had been dumped on the scrap heap.

The safe arrived as part of a weekly lorry load of scrap metal from Berlin, according to the daily Henningsdorfer Generalanzeiger.

Employees made the discovery earlier this month, when they opened the discarded safe and piles of cash fluttered out.

Police confirmed the find Thursday, after ruling out suspicions that the safe had been stolen.

It turned out that the safe originated from Berlin's Postbank, and had been overlooked by a member of staff, who should have emptied it during a branch relocation.

After realizing that the cash was missing, "all conceivable measures were taken to recover the money," Postbank spokesman Ralf Palm said.

When the bank made inquiries with the disposal company, they were told that the safe had already been shipped out of the country.

It was only by a stroke of luck that the safe popped up on Henningsdorf scrap yard, Palm said.


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