Poor man returns lost assets worth $2,400 to owner
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A motorbike taxi (xe om) driver in Tra Vinh Province has handed in the bag he accidentally picked up on a street to a State agency that later returned it to the owner.
To Phuoc Thanh: "I cannot be happy with the sum of money I picked up while someone is suffering from their loss." Photo: Tuoi Tre
Last Thursday noon when To Phuoc Thanh was riding his motorbike past a school in Tra Vinh Province, he found a bag on the street.
After finding VND28 million (US$1,350) in cash, 4 taels (4.8 ounces) of gold, an ATM card and some papers inside, Thanh brought it to the office of the provincial Fatherland Front Committee.
Total value of these assets is about VND50 million ($2,400).
Based on the papers left in the bag, the committee identified the owner as an official at a provincial agency, who later the same day received the bag from Thanh.
“He is not only poor but also in debt. Many people have said he is stupid. If he had kept the bag, he would have been able to pay all his debt and live more comfortably than now,” a local told Tuoi Tre.
For this, Thanh smiled and said, “It is true that I am poor and suffer from debt, but my conscience and dignity is much more valuable than that sum.”
Thanh says he earns much less than VND100,000 ($4.8) per day working as a motorbike taxi driver. He spends a part of the income on necessary items for his family’s daily activities, another part on his youngest daughter’s education, and the rest on paying interests on his VND20 million loan.
Thanh said he once dropped VND500,000 somewhere. This loss caused a distress to him and his wife for many days. Therefore, he can understand how sad a person can be when he loses something.
“I cannot be happy with the sum of money I picked up while someone is suffering from their loss. There is only one way to make both happy: to repay the money to its owner,” he said.