Sun, Dec 12, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Man thanks bank’s ‘jigsaw expert’

PUZZLE SAVANT:The employee who pieced the notes back together began working at the central bank as a handwriting analyst and is now its only ‘jigsaw expert’

Staff Writer, with CNA

Liu Hui-fen, who has worked at the Investigation Bureau for more than 30 years and has a reputation as a “jigsaw expert,” shows off NT$1,000 notes on Thursday. Liu pieced 200 such notes back together after a man accidentally put them in a paper shredder.

PHOTO: CNA

A man who accidentally shredded NT$200,000 (US$6,600) thanked a government forensic expert for saving his money on Thursday after the central bank decided to honor the notes.

The man, identified only by his surname, Lin (林), -inadvertently put 200 NT$1,000 notes into a shredder last month. Through Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), he requested help from Ministry of Justice forensic experts.

Liu Hui-fen (劉蕙芬), a 30-year government employee who trained herself as a “jigsaw expert,” spent seven days, including four nights of overtime, piecing the notes back together.

Liu said it took patience and skill to complete the puzzle of shredded notes. However, as each note needs to be just 75 percent complete to be recognized by the central bank, she did not finish the remaining 25 percent to save time.

Since 2006, Liu has been asked by the central bank to look into 247 cases of damaged banknotes, involving a total of NT$7.57 million.

She joined the government as a handwriting analyst, later passed internal exams to become a forensic scientist and is now the sole “jigsaw expert” responsible for restoring damaged bank notes at the ministry’s Bureau of Investigation.

Lin, who runs a plastics factory in Taipei County, visited the bureau on Thursday to say a personal thank you to Liu.

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