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Million-dollar bag missing at Hong Kong airport

Two bags containing money were found on the tarmac but the third was still missing.

Two bags containing money were found on the tarmac but the third was still missing.

A bag containing almost $1 million in Chinese currency has been lost by airline staff at Hong Kong airport following a flight from Auckland.

The bag, along with two others stuffed with cash, fell off a baggage trailer as it turned a corner last Friday, Chinese website Shanghaiist reported.

When the driver realised he had lost part of the precious cargo 10 minutes later, he returned to find just two of the cash bags lying on the tarmac.

Police searched overnight, but could not find the missing money, and it has been reported as a theft.

Thirteen bags, containing 4,080,500 yuan ($13.5 million) in total, were being transported from Auckland to a Bank of China branch when the million-dollar sack went missing.

After the flight landed at 9.10pm, bags labelled “G4S International” were being delivered to the Bank of China via cargo transfer service Hong Kong Airport Services, a Cathay subsidiary, the report said.

Surveillance footage showed three bags fell out of the trailer after not being properly fastened.

There was only a driver on board, and no security guard.

When the cargo arrived at the station 10 minutes later, the driver realised the bags were missing.

Two were found on the tarmac but the third, containing about $897,000, was still missing.

Cathay Pacific Lost and Found country manager Mark Pirihi confirmed the airline transported a valuable cargo shipment from Auckland to Hong Kong on July 17.

He did not say what the value of the shipment was.

Upon arrival, it was transferred to a cargo terminal where part of the shipment was found to be missing.

Because the case was under police investigation, he was unable to provide further details.

He said Cathay Pacific handling procedures for valuable cargo were stringent.

The airline would follow the terms and conditions stated in its contract and service agreement with the owner, but it was too early to comment on liability, he said.

New Zealand police spokeswoman Shelly Nahar said the police were aware of what had happened, but it was a Hong Kong-led investigation.

Cathay chief executive Tony Tyler said in 2008 the state-of-the-art facility was one of the biggest, busiest and most efficient terminals in the world.