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POLICE

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof

It's not unusual for Germans to carry a lot of cash. But for one man in North Rhine-Westphalia, taking out banknotes turned into a nightmare.

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof
Germany is known for being a nation of cash lovers. Photo: DPA

The 69-year-old man in Witten, near Bohum in western Germany, withdrew €20,000 of cash from a bank last Friday in order to buy a new car, police said in a statement.

He then placed the envelope with the cash on the roof of his current car. However, he forgot about the envelope and drove off.

A short time later, police said the man noticed that the envelope had disappeared.

Police are urgently appealing for anyone who finds the money to hand it into a lost property office or to the police so that the large sum can be reunited with the pensioner.

The man withdrew the cash at around 3.40pm on Friday, November 22nd from a bank at Ruhrstraße 45 in Witten. He drove off in the direction of Husemannstraße.

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Police appealed on Twitter for anyone with information to get in touch.

A nation of cash lovers

Although things are changing slowly as card payments become more popular, Germany is known for its Bargeld (cash) culture, and it's not unusual to pay for expensive items with cash.

READ ALSO: Will the German love affair with cash ever end?

In fact, hardly any other nation likes paying with banknotes as much as the Germans do.

According to Barkow Consulting, only about every 20th payment in Germany is processed by credit card. Statistically speaking, founder Peter Barkow said each German citizen keeps €2,200 cash at home.

Germans carried an average of €103 in their wallets in 2016, a study by the European Central Bank revealed, compared with an average of only €65 in the Eurozone.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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