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Recycler in Taiwan finds NT$2 million hidden in discarded air purifier

Cash returned to owner after recycling depot employee reports to police

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A recycling depot employee finds NT$2 million in cash while at work. (Sanxia Precinct, New Taipei City Police Department photo)

A recycling depot employee finds NT$2 million in cash while at work. (Sanxia Precinct, New Taipei City Police Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a recycling depot employee reported his discovery of NT$2 million (US$67,100) in a discarded air purifier to the police, the money was returned to its owner.

CNA reported on Saturday (May 14) that the male employee surnamed Lin (林) was accompanied by the recycling depot’s owners when he arrived at a police station in the Sanxia Precinct in New Taipei City. He was carrying a plastic bag containing the pile of cash.

Lin told the police that he found the money while testing an air purifier at work, as he was unsure if it was still operational. The machine had made strange noises, which prompted him to disassemble it and find the bills in two paper bags.

Police station chief Chuang Yu-pei (莊于霈) was cited as saying that she immediately asked officers to pull up surveillance footage, which showed a small blue truck carrying a load of discarded wood and the air purifier to the recycling depot. Within two hours, the police had confirmed the identity of the money’s owner, a 70-year-old man surnamed Chen (陳), and notified him to collect the lost cash.

CNA cited Chen as saying that he had asked workers to recycle the old air purifier while his home underwent renovation. The machine was over 40 years old and had not been used for a long time; Chen said he could not recall when he hid the NT$2 million inside.

He thanked Lin for his honesty and the police for tracking him down.

The police confirmed that Chen was indeed the owner of the money after comparing his handwriting to the handwritten numbers on the paper bags that contained the money. Chuang said this was the first time she had encountered someone finding so much lost money; she added that Lin had lost sleep worrying about returning the money safely.

Recycler in Taiwan finds NT$2 million hidden in discarded air purifier
A truck is caught on camera bringing in the discarded air purifier. (Sanxia Precinct, New Taipei City Police Department photo)

Recycler in Taiwan finds NT$2 million hidden in discarded air purifier
Chen says he forgot about the money he had hidden inside his old air purifier. (Sanxia Precinct, New Taipei City Police Department photo)