Australian police do not know how much money was stuffed into a suitcase left in a cafe this morning because they are still counting it.
A rough estimate, however, is $1 million.
The customer who left it behind at the Caffe Marco in the Sydney suburb of Burwood clearly did not intend it as a tip.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported an employee of a business next to the cafe said the man entered the cafe with the suitcase soon after 8 a.m., ordered a coffee and “anxiously” chatted with a couple nearby. Then he abruptly left, without the suitcase, the report said.
Several past news reports suggest Burwood, Ashfield and neighboring suburbs are home to criminal activity by Asian gangs.
The owners of the Caffe Marco feared the suitcase contained a bomb and put it on the sidewalk outside the cafe until police arrived, the Herald said.
When police arrived, they examined the bag and saw ”a significant amount of cash,” a police media release said.
The Herald reported there might be $1 million Australian dollars ($1 million US) in the bag. Police wouldn’t confirm, but they were still counting it, the report said.
The media release said police were looking for an Asian male in his 30s, wearing a yellow shirt and grey shorts, who was “acting suspiciously inside the cafe a short time before the incident.”
Sgt. David Rose, of the New South Wales Police Media Unit, said a 49-year-old man fitting the police description was in custody. A medical condition forced him to be taken to a hospital, where he was under police watch, Rose said.
When asked what crime(s) the man may be wanted for, Rose said, “having goods in custody leaps to mind.” He defined the crime as having something — “a stereo, or cash” — that might have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.
Rose said organized crime by gangs, some of them predominantly Asian, was “certainly a component” of the crime New South Wales Police fight in Burwood and neighboring areas.
No one answered the telephone at Caffe Marco.