Police arrested a 34 year old Nepalese woman for stealing part of the money belonging to a 50 year old florist who took her laundry containing HK$90,000 cash to wash at a self service laundry located on Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom at 2pm on 7th February. The florist mistakenly put a stack of bank notes generated from her sales proceed together with her clothes into a washing machine to wash.
She then returned to work and went back at 2pm to the laundry and found her clothes removed from the washing machine with a HK$500 note on the floor. She immediately stopped the washing machine and found the remaining HK$12,000 bank notes crammed inside the clothes. After calculating all the cash, the other HK$70,000 was found to be still missing. CCTV footage from the laundry revealed that a woman opened the washing machine to remove the clothes and came across bank notes before stuffing them in a bag. She left the clothes on a stool next to the washing machine and fled with the money.
Upon checking the bank account of the suspect, police found additional cash deposit by her recently. The suspect has been detained since to facilitate investigations.
Why doesn’t paper money disintegrate when it gets washed in the washing machine?
Normal paper — including notebook paper, newspaper, construction paper — is all made out of cellulose, which comes from trees. The trees are chemically broken down into their individual wood fibers, and the cellulose fibers are chosen and formed into very thin sheets to create paper.
Paper money, on the other hand, is made from paper made of rags. Cotton or linen fabric is beaten to create cotton or linen fibers.