China’s Cathay Pacific Airlines loses bag containing $1m in NZ cash at Hong Kong airport

July 23, 2015 12:42 pm

Cathay Pacific Airlines has lost a bag containing $1 million in bills at Hong Kong airport.
The Chinese language website Oriental Daily reported that the bag was one of 13 carrying a total of $10 million.
English news site Shanghaiist,
reporting the Daily’s article, said the bag was flown from New Zealand
on a Cathay Pacific aircraft and arrived at Hong Kong International
Airport on Friday night.
The cash was being transported to the
Bank of in bags labelled G4S International Logistics in a luggage
box through a cargo transfer service provided by a Cathay subsidiary,
Hong Kong Airport Services.

Shanghaiist said: “Surveillance footage shows that the three
bags fell out from the trailer, which was not properly fastened, while
it was making a turn at a corner.
“During the transfer, there was
only a driver on board without a security guard. Only 10 minutes later
when the cargo arrived at the station, the driver realised the bags were
missing.”
Two of the three missing bags were later found on the tarmac, but the third remains missing.
A
Cathay Pacific spokeswoman confirmed the airline had transported the
“valuable shipment” on July 17. “Upon arrival it was transferred to the
cargo terminal where part of the cargo shipment was found missing,” she
said.
“As the case is under police investigation, we are unable to provide further details.”

A screen grab from a video report from the Oriental Daily shows what the cash bags look like.
A screen grab from a video report from the Oriental Daily shows what the cash bags look like.
G4S International Logistics – which specialises in
transporting valuable cargo – denied responsibility for the lost money,
which is insured.
G4S North commodities director Janet Leung
told the South China Morning Post that the entire currency consignment
was “accounted for” prior to its transfer into a restricted area at the
airport. She was “very concerned” by the loss.
“This loss
occurred within the controlled airside sector of HKIA – a restricted
area that we are not allowed access to,” she said. “We can confirm that
the missing banknotes were safe and accounted for during the entire time
it was in G4Si’s possession, up until it was in the controlled airside
sector.”
Ms Leung said the security group was “confident” the
police and airport would be “diligently on their investigation and
recovery efforts”.
“G4Si is working hard to understand the chain of events that led to this loss,” she said.
She
refused to speculate on who may have taken the money, saying “it would
be premature to draw any such conclusions” while the police
investigation was ongoing.
Hong Kong police are investigating the
theft. Police in New Zealand said they were aware of the theft but were
not investigating it.
A spokeswoman for Auckland Airport could not comment.
On
its website G4Si says that for cash cargo it offers secure collection,
Customs clearance, security delivery and insurance services. It also
offers armoured delivery services.
A Customs spokeswoman said the agency was not involved in the incident.
The cash consignment was freight, not luggage, so needed to have special clearance to leave New Zealand.
To
do this, the sender or their Customs broker or a freight forwarding
company acting for them would have had to lodge an Electronic Cargo
Information form, giving Customs detailed information about the goods
and the destination they were heading to.
She said there was no
issue with the money leaving New Zealand. Privacy laws prevented Customs
from detailing who sent the cash to Hong Kong.

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