Man in China learns it doesn’t pay to bury cash

May 4 (UPI) — A Chinese man who buried hundreds of thousands of dollars five years ago is learning the hard way there may be better ways to store his life savings, according to local reports.

Chinese state media and Taiwan’s TVBS network reported the man, a farmer with the surname Wang, visited a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Anhui Province.

The bank notes were rotten and moldy and broke apart on contact, the reports say.

Wang told the bank he had “10 more bundles” at home, and that he had buried a total of about $280,000 in cash five years ago.

The Chinese man said his parents were merchants, and that they had accumulated the money. He also said a local television program claimed theft was common at ATMs. The television claims compelled him to bury the large amount of cash underground, he said, according to reports.

Bank employees worked overtime to restore the damaged bills, Chinese state media said.

The notes, often times clumped together, were “divided into small bundles, then divided into singles,” the bank said.

According to the People’s Bank of China’s regulations, bills that retain 75 percent of their original features can be exchanged at full value, but bills disfigured such that only 50 to 75 percent of the note is recognizable, can only be exchanged for half the amount.

The man’s savings has lost about 25 percent of its total value, or $70,000 owing to damage, according to reports.

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