BBC.CNN WORLD NEWS

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The tiniest thieves of all: Termites in woman's safe eat through £32,000 in cash

insects or termites
The termites munched their way through more than £32,000 in cash after getting into a woman's safe
-Money-saver scrimps and saves for eight years to study abroad

-She discovered the insects had munched their way through the notes

If you thought the NatWest fiasco was bad, spare a thought for this money saver.

While millions of customers of the beleaguered bank had their accounts frozen, one woman was faced with her money disappearing altogether.

The culprit? Hordes of hungry termites.

The Taiwanese woman's safe might well have been blast and fire proof, but it could not protect her money from the insects.

The tiny creatures somehow got into her safe and munched their way through £32,700 in cash.

She had spent eight years saving the money so she could study abroad.

She turned to Taiwan's Investigation Bureau to help her exchange her bundles of damaged notes for new ones after she found the files of cash she stored in her safe had been eaten by the termites.

However, forensic expert only managed to piece together a quarter of the notes from the piles of shredded paper.

The Investigation Bureau in Taiwan urged people to put their money in banks instead of safes to avoid similar incidents from happening again

The woman, identified only by her surname Chen, who graduated from a Taipei university last year, was originally going to spend the money to study aboard, according to the Chinese-language Apple Daily.

It took her eight years of hard work to come up with the money which she stored at a safe in her house. This April, Chen found that termites had eaten most of the piles of cash in the safe.

She later sought out the Investigation Bureau for help after a bank refused to honour the bills.

They were sent to the bureau's forensic unit for further examination. They will be honoured based on the number of bills the experts succeed in restoring.

The bureau urged people to put their money in banks to avoid similar incidents from happening again.


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