Swiss kid investigated for using joss paper money at store

Chinese joss paper (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Swiss police have been deemed “overzealous” by local newspapers on Wednesday for investigating an 8-year-old boy who allegedly asked whether he could use joss paper money in a village shop.

According to the Basler Zeitung (BaZ) newspaper, the fake money was printed on Chinese joss paper, also known as “spirit money,” which are burned as offerings to the dead at funerals.

The toy banknotes, which were printed on ordinary paper and inked with blue Chinese characters, were distributed in early March at a carnival and were apparently picked up by children, according to the BaZ.

In April, the child along with his ten-year-old brother and a neighbor headed to a local shop and asked if he could use the fake banknote.

The shopkeeper then immediately reported the incident to the police as they claimed it was standard procedure.

Law enforcement then visited the boy on May 28 to determine whether he had tried to use the counterfeit money deliberately. 

Though the unnamed boy was not charged with any offense, he had his mugshot taken and his name would be on police records until May 2032.