BBC News Europe | January 3, 2012
Twenty “gold” bars found in a case on a train near Paris last week have been found to be fake.
A suspect package on board an RER train at Massy-Palaiseau station was examined by the bomb squad and found to contain what seemed to be 20kg (44lb) of gold.
French police have now established that the bars are made of a base metal – with a thin coating of gold.
The ingots would have been worth around 800,000 euros ($1m; £670,000) if they had been genuine.
Police in Palaiseau, south-west of Paris, told Reuters news agency that they were not ruling out the possibility that the fake bars were part of a scam – in light of the worldwide demand for gold.
The find had prompted speculation that if classed as “treasure,” the bars could be shared between the Paris transport operator and the conductor who found it.