An elderly Israeli building manager has burned the rent money she collected from her tenants to a crisp after bleaching the banknotes and putting them in the microwave to kill off any traces of COVID-19.
The 74-year-old woman, name not reported but who is from the city of Jerusalem, is the manager of several apartments in a housing project, and after collecting the rental fees, she said she bleached the wad of NIS 10,000 (GBP 2,400) and put it in the microwave after a friend suggested it.
In a message to the Bank of Israel, the OAP is quoted as saying: “This week I collected all the banknotes in the amount of thousands of shekels (NIS).
“Fearing coronavirus, I touched the banknotes with gloves and in my naivety, I put them in a plastic bowl with bleach and heated them in the microwave to disinfect them.
“I left the kitchen and immediately came back smelling burning and (seeing) the money burned.”
She said that she felt “great guilt”, adding: “I am a loyal citizen and I have desecrated money. I intend to put a cheque in the said amount and replace the defective bills.”
She added: “It makes me frustrated and makes it even harder for me to get through these difficult days tucked away at home, not to mention the financial troubles. I have a monthly pension that is not high.”
The Currency Department of the Bank of Israel reportedly replaced the damaged banknotes following a short investigation into the matter.
After being reimbursed, the woman said: “I have learned my lesson.” She added: “I will not heat the bills in the microwave or any other form.”
Amir Spernovich, director at the bank’s Currency Department, said: “It is important to note that the coronavirus is not transmitted by banknotes or coins, and needless to say that banknotes in Israel contain iron wires that can ignite in the microwave.”
Netizen ‘Tom Klein’ commented: “Simple soap and water is more effective at destroying COVID-19, giving an entirely new meaning to the term ‘money laundering’.”
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