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Are you ready for some airport intrigue? The FBI and New York's Port Authority are investigating a small sum of money that went missing after a Swissair flight landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport late Monday evening. Just, you know, $1.2 million in cash. That's all.

The New York Post reports airport officials were shocked to discover an exterior cargo container didn't actually have its precious contents when they checked for it after landing. The cash was supposed to be transported in a smaller container housed inside of a larger one. (Think of a briefcase inside of a metal loading box, like in the movies.) But the Post and ABC News report the exterior cargo container showed no signs of forced entry and the smaller container was empty when the plane landed, leading investigators to believe the money was possibly stolen before take off. Or it could also be someone with the keys, which is why mechanics and the flight crew are all being investigated, too.

Unfortunately, we have no idea who the money was for — or why it was being sent to the United States.  (Update, 12:33 p.m. Eastern: ABC reports the money was destined for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Yikes!) We don't know which flight it was on, either, but ABC News reports Swissair has three flights to New York every day: two from Zurich and one from Geneva. And, you know, the Swiss do have their bank accounts.

When this amount of money is being transfered, in cash, in a cargo hull, then it's a little suspicious, no? It sounds a lot like that heist in Goodfellas, based on the real Lufthansa heist at JFK, where $5 million in cash and $3 million in jewels went missing from a flight. Was this dirty money to begin with? As much as the evidence and our curiosity would like to imply, no, it's not unusual. It could have been a bank transfer. A very large bank transfer, yes, but still just a bank transfer. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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