Mysterious gifts surprise New Zealanders

2012-05-15 16:28
Wellington - Mysterious gifts from Paris sent to unsuspecting citizens in New Zealand are puzzling police who said on Tuesday they suspect that criminals could be behind the generosity.

Four surprise parcels, all containing a hairdryer or hair clippers and cash, had been delivered to residents in and around Greymouth, on the west coast of the South Island, local police said. One woman received two parcels.

Most contained two 50 euro notes, one had a 100-US-dollar bill and a handwritten note on one said, "Thank you for being a true friend," senior sergeant Allyson Ealam was quoted by the Greymouth Star.

Police had initially thought the parcels were simply a goodwill gesture, but later asked Interpol to investigate, fearing the packages could be part of a test to launder money or traffic drugs.

Ealam said the parcels carried names and addresses of the senders - all different and all English - but they were not known to the recipients.

"We have already been told that the return addresses on each of the parcels exist and we are now checking the names of the senders," she said.

Ealam said forensic experts had taken fingerprints from the boxes, which were packaged identically and had apparently not been opened by New Zealand Customs officials. No drugs were detected.

She would not reveal any details about the recipients.

"They all did the right thing by contacting police about their surprise parcels," she said. "Maybe they have come from someone who won the lottery over there, or it could be that it's a nice prank."

- SAPA
Read more on:    new zealand  |  france
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