Cabbie praised after returning Dhs1.2 million and jewels left in his car
A Dubai taxi driver who discovered Dhs200,000 in cash and Dhs1 million worth of jewellery in his cab said he returned the haul to its rightful owner because he did not want to keep something he hadn’t worked for himself.
“I thought, this is someone else’s hard-earned money,” Abdul Haleem told 7DAYS on Wednesday. The 31-year-old Bangladeshi driver had picked up two people from Al Mas Tower in JLT. One of the passengers, an Egyptian businessmen, placed two small bags in the boot of the car.
“About 4.30pm, when I finished my duty and was cleaning the car, I saw the bags in the boot,” Haleem (pictured) recalled. “I was curious so I opened one of the bags and found stacks of Dhs500 notes inside.”
Haleem, who has been working for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for the past two years, said he headed straight to Naif Police Station to hand over the valuables.
“It’s Dubai Taxi’s rule. If you find anything, you go to the nearest police station,” he said. The humble accounting assistant-turned-cabbie laughed as he remembered the look on the customer’s face on seeing his treasure returned. The passenger had gone to the police station to report his misplaced goods.
“It’s like he went crazy with happiness and started dancing and doing cartwheels outside the police station. He was very happy and he thanked me many times,” the honest cabbie added. Haleem’s honesty has been recognised and rewarded. In addition to receiving a certificate of appreciation and a financial award from Dubai Taxi, he was also rewarded, in person, by RTA chairman Mattar Al Tayer.
Other government entities have also rewarded Haleem’s act, while his name has been included in the Dubai Excellence awards. The father of two said his message to other drivers is simple: “Be honest”.
“Then everything good will follow. Look at me, I returned the bag and I’ve been rewarded,” he said. Dubai Taxi Corporation’s acting director of fleet drivers affairs, Marwan Othman Abdul Qader, said: “We are very proud of him. We wish the public to consider the type of job a taxi driver goes through every day.”
Qader said it’s not just valuables that people leave behind in taxis. “There was a big family who actually left their child inside a taxi by mistake once,” the fleet boss revealed.