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Catch of the day: US couple hook safe stuffed with $100k

US rules provide for the exchange of damaged banknotes -- provided that they are not the result of laundering or crime
US rules provide for the exchange of damaged banknotes -- provided that they are not the result of laundering or crime - Copyright AFP -
US rules provide for the exchange of damaged banknotes -- provided that they are not the result of laundering or crime - Copyright AFP -

Two modern day treasure hunters in the United States appeared to strike gold when they uncovered a safe stuffed with $100,000 in cash — but there was a catch.

The banknotes were ruined.

Barbara Agostini and James Kane, both in their 40s, have been propelled to celebrity status beyond their magnet fishing community after making the discovery in a New York pond over the weekend.

“It’s surreal, I thought it was a joke until I saw it with my eyes,” said Barbara Agostini.

Though not the pair’s first time discovering a safe, it was their first one containing more than random odds and ends, although because the safe was not air-tight many of the notes were wet or mud smeared.

Fearing the money could be linked to crime, the couple went to the New York police, saying they “didn’t want to have a problem on our hands.”

But officers washed their hands of the cash.

“As a general matter, found property valued at ten dollars or more is required to be reported to, and deposited with, the police,” a police spokesman told AFP. 

“In this instance, the value and authenticity of the alleged currency could not be determined due to the severely disintegrated condition of the property.”

Agostini and Kane are now hoping they can cash in on their find and plan to take the haul to the Treasury in Washington to exchange their water-logged bills for clean currency. 

US rules allow for the exchange of damaged banknotes — provided that they are not the proceeds of crime.

AFP
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