Spring cleaning gone wrong: Man loses a fortune after wife discards his old clothes containing $1,000 notes

Zhuo showing reporters where his wife threw away his old clothes which contained $14,000.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

If you happen to like collecting rare banknotes, it might be a good idea to invest in a safe. 

Or at the very least, don't put them in the pockets of your old clothes.

One man did just that, and he ended up losing $14,000 when his wife tossed his shirts away while cleaning their house last Friday (Sept 30), reported Shin Min Daily News. 

"My wife and I live in Block 116 Marsiling Rise. She was spring cleaning and she threw my old clothes into a rubbish bin on the ground floor.

"One of the long-sleeved shirts had 14 $1,000 notes in the pocket," the 57-year-old private hire driver lamented, adding that he is still feeling heartbroken about it. 

Zhuo said he had a habit of collecting $1,000 notes, and managed to get a few more before those notes were discontinued last year.

"Whenever any of my friends had one, I would exchange money with them and treasure it." 

He said that he chose to keep them in the pockets of his old clothes as he was afraid that the notes would be stolen.

"I forgot to tell my wife that there were notes in the pockets of those clothes," he sighed.

In November 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that it would discontinue the issuance of $1,000 notes at the start of 2021 as a "pre-emptive measure to mitigate the higher money laundering and terrorism financing risks". 

However, existing $1,000 notes in circulation will remain legal tender and can continue to be used as a means of payment. 

Zhuo said he has since made a police report regarding his lost notes, but is aware that chances of recovering them are slim, as he knows that there are many scavengers in the area. 

He said that he also pasted a copy of the police report at his void deck, hoping someone will come forth with more information about his missing bills. 

Responding to Shin Min's queries, the police confirmed they received the report and are currently investigating. 

Finders keepers? 

Under section 403 of the Penal Code, it is an offence to keep another person's movable property for yourself without attempting to locate the owner, even if you gained possession of it through non-illegal means, such as finding it on the street.

For the dishonest misappropriation of property, offenders may face up to two years' imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Back in 2015, a woman mistakenly threw a plastic bag containing about 47,000 yuan (S$9,431) out of her rented flat at New Upper Changi Road. 

The money was meant to cover her living expenses for a year, including payment for her daughter's school fees and housing rental. 

Li Xinhua told Lianhe Wanbao then that she had grabbed the bag of money in a fit of rage, wanting to hurl it at her six-year-old daughter who refused to go to bed. 

Unfortunately, the bag of money flew over the parapet of the 13th floor, landing at a small park near the block. 

Li said that a neighbour on the second floor told her that a man in his 20s found the bag and ran away with it. 

ALSO READ: Raffles Institution 'disappointed' in students who threw $50 notes down toilet and from building

claudiatan@asiaone.com