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French central bank’s stolen euros unearthed in provincial garden

The Banque de France's headquarters
The Banque de France's headquarters Fabrice Dimier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

French police have found nearly two million euros stolen from France’s central bank, where they were supposed to have been destroyed. They uncovered the haul when 500,000 euros was found buried in a garden in central France.


Two suspects have been charged with theft and receiving stolen goods after police dug up a bag containing 500,000 euros in the garden of a house in Vic-le-Comte in the mountainous Auvergne region.

The find led investigators to a further 1,300,000 euros in a bag in a different house, whose owner appears to have been unaware of their contents.

One of the suspects, both of whom are in their 50s, is reported to have burnt some other notes.

The two suspects’ wives have been placed under judicial supervision.

At the end of August two Banque de France employees were fired, accused of being involved in the disappearance of a number of bags of used notes, according to the regional paper La Montagne.

They attracted attention because they appeared to be living beyond their means.

The case came to light when an employee transferred to the bank’s traceability department at the printworks in Vic-le-Comte for the summer stumbled upon a box containing eight kilos of used but valid banknotes that should have been destroyed but had been set aside.

The bank admits that it has been the victim of attempted fraud but refuses to comment any further while the police inquiry is under way.

Thousands of other banknotes may still be missing.

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