A security van in Hong Kong accidentally spilled close to $2 million on a busy road Wednesday. Shoppers and motorists scrambled to pick up the cash that fell across an eight-lane section of Gloucester Road near the city’s financial district, the New York Times reports.
Video footage shows bystanders grabbing the new Hong Kong 500-dollar notes that fell onto the road. It was unclear whether they were taking the money for themselves or helping to clear the area.
“Many people picked up cash and then left,” a man at the scene told News.Now. “One old lady picked up cash and gave it to the police when they turned up.”
Others were not as honest.
"I saw a lady with 10 of them, easily. She looked like a very regular Hong Kong lady. She had an armful of bricks of cash - it was a much as she could carry. She just disappeared into the depths of Wan Chai," a witness told the South China Morning Post.
Hong Kong police have asked anyone who grabbed the money to return it authorities as soon as possible. “Otherwise, they may have committed the crime of theft,” Wan Siu-hong, a district police officer, told reporters, according to Radio Television Hong Kong.
There was an estimated 35 million Hong Kong dollars --- $4.5 million US -- in the van. About $2.5 million has been recovered. Nearly $2 million is missing, according to the police.
The van belongs to G4S, a British security company. According to the South China Morning Post, the company said it was liable for the multimillion-dollar loss that may have resulted from a malfunctioning van door.