A hotelier in Paris called the cops on a pair of Chinese guests who were paying their bills nightly with Euro coins and who had 3,700 more in their rooms. He thought they were counterfeiters. It turned out that they were friends with a Chinese car-scrapper who had harvested forgotten coins from European cars on their way to the wrecker.
"Investigators suspected they were dealing with a case of forged currency," a source was quoted as saying by France's Le Parisien newspaper.
But banking experts checked the coins and confirmed that they were not fake.
It was later established that the two men - who have not been identified - had friends in the scrap metal trade in China and bought the coins from them.
Thousands of European cars are shipped to China for scrap every year.
They are meticulously searched before demolition - and it appears that the most common valuables left inside are one-euro coins.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.