Lonely Planet Writer

Airline red-faced after bag with $1m NZ goes missing

Everyone has experienced the nightmare of lost luggage by an airline leaving them without clothes for a number of days.

Cathay Pacific red-faced over $660,000 in suitcase which has gone missing
Cathay Pacific red-faced over $660,000 in suitcase which has gone missing. Image by The National Crime Agency / CC BY 2.0

Cathay Pacific had reason to be a bit more red-faced than usual when it lost a bag containing an estimated $1 million (New Zealand) in cash which was part of an official $10m transfer of money destined for deposit with the Bank of China.

Cathay Pacific is searching for a suitcase with money in it which went missing
Cathay Pacific is searching for a suitcase with money in it that was lost in tranist  Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY 2.0

The New York Post reports that while 26 million suitcases go missing annually from the airplanes and airports of the world, it beggars belief how the airline was so careless in allowing such a large amount of cash to go astray.

The suitcase was one of a dozen carrying the $10m transfer of money from New Zealand to Hong Kong. When the bags were being cargo transferred en route to a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, they were put on a trailer, but three fell off as the transport vehicle took a corner.

When the driver of the vehicle arrived at the new station, he discovered that three bags were missing. Two were found on the route he had taken but the third one had mysteriously disappeared.

In a statement carried by  BBC news the airline said: ‘Cathay Pacific transported a valuable cargo shipment last Friday night to Hong Kong.

‘Upon arrival, it was transferred to the cargo terminal where part of the shipment was found missing. As the case is under police investigation, we are unable to provide further details.’