Almost all euro bank notes have traces of cocaine, according to a study by German scientists.
Prof Fritz Sögel and a team from the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg studied 700 euro notes from across the euro zone between January 2002 — the month the notes were launched — and last August.
Three per cent were found to be contaminated with an average of 0.4 microgrammes of cocaine particles, just days after the euro’s launch, and this figure soared to 90 per cent in seven months.
The most highly contaminated notes, in the first study of its kind on euro notes, originated from Spain.
Rolled up banknotes are often used to sniff cocaine.
Because the notes are made from pure cotton, cocaine crystals stick easily to them and quickly get passed on to other notes, according to experts.