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France

Police say ‘non’ to Hidden Cash treasure hunt in Paris

© Screen grab of Twitter

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-26

Plans to hold a Hidden Cash treasure hunt in Paris this weekend have been called off after French police informed the American millionaire behind the incredibly popular city-by-city event, Jason Buzi, that it is illegal to distribute money in public.

Buzi, a real estate investor and entrepreneur based in California, launched the concept on Twitter last month, where he posts clues to the location of envelopes stuffed with money under the handle @HiddenCash.

Since it began, the modern-day treasure hunt has given away thousands of dollars in cities like New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London.

Buzi’s plans to stage a Hidden Cash event in Paris, however, came to an abrupt end this week after police sent him a letter informing him that it was against the law to distribute money in public in France. The offense is punishable by six months in jail and a 30,000 euro ($40,000) fine.

The police said that a similar event staged by a private company in Paris in 2009 had led to “public disorder,” and had to be cancelled at the last minute.

Buzi, however, appeared determined on Friday to find a way around the prohibitive French law in time to hold the hunt as planned.

“Need a solution for Paris. Hidden iPhones? Hidden cheese? Hidden wine? What should we hide? Can’t be money,” he tweeted.

The post elicited a deluge of ideas, as well as a handful of sarcastic ones.

“Deoderant,” tweeted @PhillipCMcGuire, while @MaanHhhwelll suggested “soap.”

Buzi has said in the past that he came up with the concept of @HiddenCash with a group of anonymous friends as a fun and creative way of giving back to the community.

Another event is due to take place in the Spanish capital Madrid by the first week of July.

Date created : 2014-06-26

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