Bags of central bank cash split open, littering Turkish airport with bills

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Cash belonging to Turkey's Central Bank littered the ground of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport after bags of money split open while in transit for Zurich, local media said Friday.

Dozens of stray 10 Turkish Lira bills (S$5) blew around the apron late on Thursday after two sacks from a total 170 note-stuffed bags fell from the cargo hold of a Turkish Airlines plane in transit for Zurich, private Dogan news agency reported.

Passengers of the flight had already disembarked, and the cargo of cash was being transferred from the hold to the interior of the plane when the slip-up occurred.

An official from Turkey's Central Bank told AFP on condition of anonymity that the money was en route to a correspondent bank in Zurich, and that the fumbled transfer was the responsibility of a private company.

The official did not reveal the estimated total value of the stray bank notes, which ground service workers scrambled to collect as handfuls of the loose notes were blown around by the wind.

The recovered money was wrapped together and sent to the airport police station, where workers in charge of the transfer were questioned.

An investigation has been launched into the incident, Dogan said.

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