Authorities in Frankfurt have uncovered a €6-million Sino-German fraud operation involving the illegal reassembly of scrapped coins. €1 and €2 coins consist of two concentric parts, which are separated and shipped to China as scrap when the coins leave circulation. Reuters reports:
An airline stewardess struggling to lift her bag at a German airport led to the discovery of a 6-million euro ($8.4 million) coin fraud ….
The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office said on Thursday it carried out dawn raids on offices and residences and arrested six people, four of whom are from China.
It suspects them of having smuggled coins that had been taken out of circulation or bits of those coins into Germany from China, where they had been sent as scrap metal.
The suspects then put the coins back together and exchanged them for a total of 6 million euros at the Bundesbank from 2007 to 2010, the prosecutors said.
Airline cabin crew do not have a weight limit on their baggage, prosecutors highlighted in a statement ….
The Bundesbank is the only institute in Europe that exchanges damaged euro coins for free, replacing them with new ones of the same value.