Renovating “This Old Bank” – Belgian finds €300,000

Dexia bank tower in Brussels

A Belgian man renovating a house in Ghent found €300,000 in cash that had been left behind unclaimed from when the building had housed a bank almost 10 years ago.

Ferhat Kaya, 33, had bought the property, a former branch of the Dexia bank, at a cost of €180,000 to house his accounting firm and before accepting the keys turned down the estate agent’s quote of €3,500 to remove an old safe.

Instead he called two close friends, the brothers Murat and Hurun Tufan to remove the metal vault. “When the vault was open it revealed bags of 20 and 50 euro bills,” said Murat Tufan. “The receipts were still there, dated December 31, 2001. We started counting, and it came to some 300,000 euros.”

After speaking to his Turkish father, Mr Kaya decided to call the police even though it would have been easy to keep the cash as it had been lost and left unwanted by the bank for almost a decade.

“My friends and I thought we would really make a statement with it: that even immigrants are people that say honesty is the best policy,” he said.

Ulrike Pommée, a spokesman for Belgium’s Dexia Bank, said that an investigation had been opened but suggested that no trace of money would ever be found.

“We will carry out the investigation and then see if there will be a decision to give him a reward for reporting the money to police straight away.”


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