Dubai: An honest cab driver who returned Dh36,000 to a passenger left behind in his cab received a reward of Dh10 in return.
But the small reward doesn’t bother him, says Shaaban Ali, the Pakistani cab driver, employed with Arabia Taxi.
“I have to admit I felt a little bad because I spent a lot of time trying to track the passenger down and even spent more than an hour waiting at our office for him to come and collect the money. But I would have returned the money with or without the reward, so it doesn’t matter.”
The incident happened a few days ago. Ali’s cab was hailed by the passenger, a Saudi Arabian national, to go from Al Ghusais to Gold souq. After leaving him at the destination, Ali took another passenger. Along the way, he noticed the bag, close to the door.
After doing a few rounds of the area searching for the passenger without luck, Ali took the bag to his office.
“The bag contained Dh36,000, the man’s passport and some other documents.”
After he was informed, the passenger came an hour later to the office and collected his belongings. “He told me thank you and handed me Dh10,” said Ali, with a smile.
Ali’s family — wife and parents — live back home in Kohat.
Another Pakistani driver, Sajjad Arif, working with the same company also returned valuables left behind by a Nigerian businessman who hailed his cab.
“A laptop bag with 106,500 Nigerian Naira (Dh 2,480), passport, laptop, blackberry, cheque books and watch was left behind in my cab,” said Arif, who hails from Sialkot in Punjab.
“We are here to earn our money by working, and not to make easy money. No matter what I would not even consider for a second about holding on to someone else’s belongings,” he said.
The incident happened on September 20.
He took the passenger from Oud Metha and dropped him off at Jumeirah. It was around 10am when he noticed the bag left behind.
But he wasn’t sure whose it was, he said, because he had taken two passengers before and after the Nigerian businessman.
“When I informed my company I was told that no one complained about a lost bag. After several attempts by the company to reach the man over phone, we decided to hand over the bag to the police.”
The next day the customer has collected his belongings and thanked us cordially, said Arif.
He said that he has returned back mobile phones and other belongings to passengers several times before.
“We request passengers to be more careful because we drivers may not always notice something you have left behind and there is always a chance of another passenger taking it,” added Arif.