Cash gift sparks virus alarm

Never expect any gratitude - that's the lesson learned by a Malmö man whose small act of kindness left him suspected of trying to spread a deadly disease.

A family at a restaurant in the southern Swedish city thought it was rather suspicious when an unknown man came over to their table and handed them an envelope. Inside was a 500 kronor note wrapped in a napkin.

Rather than being touched by the man’s generosity, the father of the family thought the whole thing seemed decidedly dodgy – and called the police.

A police unit rushed to the scene and, fearing that the note was poisoned or laced with some form of dangerous bacteria or virus, whisked it away for forensic examination.

Chemical experts from the Rescue Services Agency were on hand to assist the police and the note was about to be sent to the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control when the story reached its undramatic conclusion.

Having read about the “incident” over the weekend, the giver turned himself in to the police. He told them that he was having a meal in the restaurant when the family came in and that he just gave them the money to make them happy.

“He said that he quite simply wanted to give them something special and that he had given money away like this before,” said Hans Olsson at Malmö police.

Evidence of a paranoid world? Or Swedish philanthropy? Discuss!