19/09/2017 11:00 AM AEST | Updated 19/09/2017 11:01 AM AEST

Someone Was Literally Flushing Heaps Of Money Down Swiss Toilets

And authorities want to know why.

Tens of thousands of 500-euro banknotes similar to these were reportedly clogging toilets in Geneva.
Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Swiss authorities are investigating reports that someone flushed tens of thousands of euros down the toilets of a bank and several restaurants in Geneva, clogging their pipes.

Several months ago, toilets near a bank vault in the city were stuffed with 500-euro bills, which had apparently been chopped up with scissors. More bills were discovered clogging nearby restaurants' toilets in the following days, Bloomberg reported, citing local authorities.

In Switzerland, where the currency is the Swiss franc, it's not a crime to destroy banknotes, according to the BBC. However, the European Union prohibits the destruction of large amounts of its currency.

So far, it appears curiosity alone has prompted local authorities to launch a criminal investigation.

"There must be something behind this story," Henri Della Casa, a spokesman for the Geneva prosecutor's office, told Bloomberg. "That's why we started an investigation."

A Spanish lawyer reportedly paid to repair the toilets where the money was found, though it's not clear why, according to a French news report in the Tribune de Geneve, translated by NPR.

Vincent Derouand, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, declined to comment when the BBC asked whether a lawyer had been questioned in the case.

The production of the 500-euro bill is slated to be phased out next year over concerns that the notes are used for illegal activities, the BBC reported. They will still be legal tender, however.

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