Europe

Austria boy finds euro banknotes in Danube in Vienna

  • 7 December 2015
  • From the section Europe
thousands of euros drying near a radiator - 7 December 2015 Image copyright Vienna Police
Image caption It is not clear if the money was put in the water as part of a laundering operation

Police in Austria are investigating how bank notes worth tens of thousands of euros ended up in the River Danube.

The notes were found floating down the river in Vienna on Saturday, leading one passer-by to jump in and salvage the money.

A police spokesman told the BBC that the recovered money was worth some €100,000 (£72,000; $108,000).

Police said there were no crimes were recorded in the area and that it was not clear where the money originated.

Image copyright Vienna Police
Image caption The money was dried out at at police station and is no longer liquid

Reports in Austria said officers had first believed the money - made up of €500 and €100 notes - was counterfeit, but they now believe the notes to be genuine.

They were first alerted when bystanders spotted a boy in the river on Saturday. Fearing he was attempting suicide, they called police, only to find he was trying to retrieve the money.

Anyone who finds money and hands it to police in Austria is entitled to keep between 5% and 10% of the total.

But if the owner is not found within a year, the whole sum will be handed to the boy.

Image copyright Vienna Police
Image caption The origin of the money is murky
Image copyright Vienna Police
Image caption The boy, whose name has not been released, netted thousands of euros from the Danube