Lifestyle & Belief

$1.2 million in $100 bills stolen from Swiss Air flight in New York


A teller displays $100 notes at a moneychanger in Jakarta on May 30, 2012.

The FBI is investigating the theft of $1.2 million — all in $100 bills — from Swiss International Airlines flight 17, which arrived in New York from Zurich on Saturday afternoon.

The money, part of a currency shipment, was said to be heading to the Federal Reserve on a passenger flight with air cargo.

After the plane landed at JFK International Airport and the shipment was taken to the reserve in Rutherford, New Jersey, the shortage was noticed, leading investigators to look into whether the money was taken before the flight left Zurich.

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The cash was missing from a container the bank uses to transfer currency that is loaded into a larger cargo container, but FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said it would take a forklift to lower or remove the currency container from the larger one.

According to ABC New York, a forklift operator opened the larger container and noticed some damage to one of the three crates holding the money. It looked like a puncture from a forklift that was large enough for an arm to be inserted.

He said that shipping containers are often damaged with similar gouges after years of use and told investigators that he didn't think the hole was something that needed to be reported. When questioned, he said that the hole was considerably larger than the usual container gouges.