LONDON – A woman who kept her life savings hidden in a cupboard because she didn’t trust banks has been left heartbroken – after the pile of notes was eaten by termites.
Cai Hou went to check on the pile of notes she had spent decades building up at her home in the city of Jinjiang, in eastern China’s Fujian province, only to find it had been chewed to pieces.
The thrifty 70-year-old – who had saved 10,000 Yuan (£1,000) – at first thought she had been burgled.
But she then spotted the insects next to the shredded notes and realised what had happened.
‘I was heartbroken,’ she said. ‘I’d never trusted banks and I always thought it would be safer to hide the cash in a safe place at home. How wrong could I be?’.
Cai’s family painstakingly managed to piece together 5,900 Yuan (£570) in nibbled notes and took them to two local banks.
Bank officials managed to verify notes worth only 1,950 Yuan (£190) and rejected the rest as too damaged.
Cai said: ‘They said so much was missing that they couldn’t be certain they had ever been banknotes at all let alone the value of them.
‘I suppose we are lucky to get anything back. It’s certainly taught me a lesson and all the money I have left went straight back into the bank in my new account.’