Someone is Clogging Up Swiss Toilets with Cash

Why on Earth is someone clogging up Swiss toilets with cash? Looks like someone has money to pour down the drain – literally – just to apparently make a statement of some sort. If they call the plumber, then his payment is already waiting for him or her. Well, maybe not.

Swiss authorities have been trying to solve this very strange case that involves the disposal of over $100,000 worth of euro notes which had been down toilets of Swiss public establishments. This has been occurring in Geneva. Oddly enough, thousands of dollars of damage has been caused by the wads of cash. Authorities are left scratching their heads at what they are referring to as ‘pointless destruction’.

The Swiss publication Tribune de Genève has first reported about this case late last week. As one might imagine, this crazy story has quickly circulated all around the world. Bloomberg reported that the first wad of 500-euro bills (each bill equivalent to around $597) was discovered in a toilet which was located close to a safe deposit box from Swiss bank UBS branch. These bills were supposedly shredded with scissors.

Many questions about this was raised at the time, and this odd incident would have probably been dismissed as a fluke had it not been for the additional occurrences. Very soon after this initial case, workers from Pizzeria du Molard – which was nearby – informed police their toilet had also been clogged up with euros. After that, several more bills were subsequently found in toilets from three different restaurants that were very close to the initial case at the UBS branch. By this time, it was estimated that a grand total of $119,000 had been shredded and chopped up before flushing down the toilets.

In the United States, it is against the law to destroy money. However in Switzerland this is not the case. And even if it had been against the law, the euro is not the official currency of the country anyway – they use the Swiss franc. None the less, police are completely baffled as to what exactly is going on with these cash flushings, and the UBS is refusing to make any public comments.

A spokesperson from the Geneva Prosecutor Office has confirmed that an official investigation has been initiated. They claim that there are probably grounds for the destruction of the plumbing, but admitted that finding out the motive of why someone would want to flush a hundred grand down a toilet was much more intriguing.

As if this case was not strange enough, an attorney claiming represent a couple of women from Spain showed up at a police station in Geneva to offer payment for the plumbing damages from the cash flushings. The Tribune de Genève had reported that these two women had shown up in the surveillance footage and were considered as suspects. If this attorney told the police about a motive for flushing all this cash, they certainly were not willing to share it publicly.

A potential theory is when the 500-euro notes were banned last year due to its intense use in global money laundering. The European Central Bank pushed forward the halt of the note’s production. Could it be that the women had gotten confused as to what the ban was really about?  Or were they attempting to get rid of dirty money? At this point, we will probably never know.

To the public, we still do not know why someone was clogging up Swiss toilets with cash in the first place.