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The Coin Travel
In The Coin Room
 
On The Bus   In The Corn Room The Account Office At The Bank
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The cash counting office (known as the "coin room") in the North Point depot was where bus fares collected each day were counted. Designated workers would dismount the vaults from the returned buses, delivered them to the coin room where more than 10 coin counting workers, all male, would sort out the coins by denominations and count them with machines before bagging them. The coin room was kept under constant closed circuit television monitoring and security guards would check the identities of all staff going in and out. All coin counting workers had to be naked from waist up and wore only shorts so that no coins could be hidden beneath their clothes.

Yet the workers came up with an ingenious ploy to outmanoeuvre the tight security. Beneath their shorts they wore two to three underpants sewn up at the legs, turning them into double or multi-layered pant-shaped bags. When the swivelling surveillance camera was not looking in their direction, they would stealthily sweep $5 or $2 coins into their pant-shaped bags. They had also bribed the security guards for turning a blind eye when they staggered out of the depot with bulging shorts. Monitoring from the first floor car park of a neighbouring residential building, Danny Lo recalled that most of the workers, apparently weighed down by kilos of coins, had to literally drag themselves out of the depot during lunch hours.


"These workers would normally have their lunches at nearby restaurants. Once inside, they would sneak into the toilets and unload the coins from their underpants. They would then exchange the metal into notes at the rate of $110 to $100 with associated restaurant or store operators in the area," said Hans Wong, now an Acting Chief Investigator.