A bank in Sichuan province nearly lost about 60,000 yuan (US$9,000) after mistakenly accepting what appeared to be greenbacks from two customers.
The “cash” turned out to be joss paper resembling legal-tender bank notes, known as “hell money”, state news agency Xinhua reports.
“Hell money” is used as burnt offering to the dead.
A woman first deposited US$100 into her account at the bank in Xuning city. She and a man returned to put in US$4,500 each.
The pair withdrew the total amount from an ATM right after.
The fake bank notes were discovered later in the day during clearing of foreign exchange.
The police were called and they quickly identified the suspects.
Sichuan news portal SCOL.com.cn reported that the bogus bank notes looked “quite like genuine greenbacks” but the back had “Hell Money” written on it with the words “not for use”.
The two suspects said the notes were given to them by a friend who bought them from a street vendor.
The pair surrendered the money and investigations are continuing.
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