Taiwan expert solves £4,000 puzzle

Taiwan expert solves £4,000 puzzle


Liu Hui-fen displays pages of thousands of tiny pieces of note bills that she patched together (AP)

A Taiwanese expert spent seven days piecing together a £4,000 puzzle.

Liu Hui-fen was confronted with thousands of tiny paper money pieces after a businessman accidentally dumped 200,000 New Taiwan dollars (£4,000) into an industrial scrap machine.

Each of the 1,000 NT dollar bills was torn into 20 pieces and the man, who only gave his surname, Lin, turned to the Taiwan Justice Ministry’s investigation bureau, where Liu works, to ask for help.

Baffled at first by the pile of scraps in front of her, Liu soon found a way to attack the problem. She located the Chinese character “guo”, or country, on each bill, and then worked outwards.

When the job was finally done she said it was the most difficult she’d ever accomplished. Liu usually investigates handwriting samples, but has a special brief to work on cases dealing with damaged money – handling 247 of them in the past five years.

“I was so happy whenever I was able to put a piece into its right place,” she said.

Under Taiwanese law, people can claim replacement bills from the central bank as long as at least 75% of the original is pieced together.

Lin expressed his gratitude. “I’m sorry the job brought her so much trouble,” he said.

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