It sounds like a surreal comedy of errors. And in many ways it was.
The woman was carrying a suitcase with €2million euro, mainly fake bank notes, when she was kidnapped from the lobby at the Hilton Hotel in Milan by four armed men of Albanian origin.
Guests at the hotel reported to authorities seeing four armed men escort the woman out of the hotel. The police at first thought it was a standard kidnapping, until they realized that the woman herself had been at the hotel to try and scam four Indian business people.
The kidnappers got away in an Alfa Romeo 147 and a high-speed chase ensued through the streets of Milan's city centre, reports Repubblica, before they were apprehended by the police. Nobody was injured, according to reports.
The recovered suitcase contained a top layer of €65,000 in real currency – the rest was counterfeit money. It's presumed that somebody close to the woman informed the four kidnappers of her presence at the hotel, albeit not of the fake money.
The French woman was said to be conducting a 'rip deal,' a common scam whereby buyers purchase real estate, valuable assets (e.g. jewellery) or other currencies using counterfeit money.