In August 2016, a woman in Benalmadena found a wallet in the street with 380 euros and 140 pounds sterling in cash, which she gave to local police officers.
Under the Spanish system, any money found on public roads, if not claimed by the owner within a maximum period of two years, becomes the property of the person who returned it
The woman, who knew about the law, claimed the money after the two-period was over, however, now the story gets interesting…
When the necessary administrative procedure began, however, the Local Police issued a report alleging that both the wallet and the money had disappeared from the police offices, without being able to give “a certain explanation about its destination or possible return.”
Being more than 400 euros, the Spanish Penal Code establishes fines of between three and six months in jail for the crime of misappropriation. The law considers that “those who appropriate money, effects, values or anything else and have the obligation to return them or if they deny having received them” should be punished.
There are, therefore, two ways to commit a crime of misappropriation: when a person leaves objects or money to another person and he refuses to return it despite having an obligation to do so and when the depositary of those goods denies having received them.
Municipal officials admit that there has been “assessable damage” whose compensation equals the money found in 2016.
The mayor of Benalmadena, Víctor Navas has said that the total (converting the sterling to euros) is now over €540.00 and has had to be paid to the woman out of the Town Hall’s funds.
It really is a mystery as to where that money went, maybe the internal investigation will come up with something, who knows! 🙂