70-year-old Sia Ka Tian should have his name in a hall of world records for those who don't take advantage of situations which involve large amounts of money.
A 31-year cabbie in the city-state of Singapore, Tian demonstrated a lot of restrain when he returned to a tourist couple the $900,000 (€700,000) he had found in the backseat of his taxi. In local currency, that amounts to Sg$1.1 million.
“The money is unimportant to me. It doesn’t belong to me, so how can I use it?” he says.
The Thai couple who received their money back were on their way to a shopping center on Monday, November 20, when they forgot a bag full of cash in the taxi.
Tian noticed the bag, and, even though he peeked inside and noticed the large amount, he called in his employer at ComfortDelGro transport and declared the bag with the company's lost-and-found office.
According to ABS CBN News, he had miscalculated what the dollar bills amounted to, believing he had about $200,000 (€156,000) in his car. In the busy city of Singapore, that meant some form of trouble and he acted quickly to get rid of it.
“When I saw the money, I thought, trouble is here. I was sure there was at least $200,000 in the bag,” he recalls.
The Thai couple, who stated they were in Singapore for a vacation, had filed an inquiry with the taxi company about the missing black paper bag. He was compensated for his honesty by the couple, and his employer also plans to give him a bonus.
“Finding one million dollars in cash is not an everyday affair and in fact, we wonder how many people would have possibly been tempted. […] We are immensely proud of him and are glad that the passengers recovered their money,” a spokesperson states.
A similar tale comes from the US, where a shopper in a Beverly, Massachusetts supermarket found a bag with $11,000 (€8,500) inside, and turned it over to the police, as we reported a few days ago.