Abdul Halim pointing to the boot of his cab where he found the bag containing cash and diamonds Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ XPRESS

Dubai: An Egyptian businessman who left Dh200,000 in cash and Dh1 million worth of diamonds in the trunk of a taxi had nearly given up hope of ever finding it.

But thanks to the honesty of the driver, he has been reunited with his treasure.

Bangladeshi cabbie Abdul Halim, who earns around Dh3,500 a month, said he discovered the hoard after duty hours. “My shift ended at 4.30pm and as usual I checked the boot. Inside lay a big brown leather bag. I opened it and I froze. There were several wads of currency, a chequebook and a boxful of diamonds. I hadn’t seen anything like this before,” said the 31-year-old, recalling the May 25 incident.

Halim said he instantly realised that the bag could belong to the Egyptian he picked up at Al Mas Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT) to go to the Deira Gold Souq that morning.

“I knew what I had to do. But just as I was about to alert my office, I got a call from Dubai Police enquiring about the bag. I told them it was with me and immediately set off for Naif police station.

“The Egyptian was waiting for me there. A big smile beamed across his face when he saw me. The police then opened the bag in front of us and started checking the contents.”

It was then that Halim realised the bag’s value. Convinced that nothing was missing, the Egyptian patted me back and rewarded my honesty with some cash.

More rewards followed from his company RTA and even the Emirates Identity Authority.

“Abdul Halim is our hero,” said Abdul Rahim Mohammad Al Ali, Events Specialist, Resources and Support Department at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“We have around 8,000 drivers for 3,500 taxis and I can vouch that every one of them is honest. Within RTA, we have a strict policy that if there is a complaint from a passenger and the driver does not report it, he is immediately fired,” said Ali.

“If passengers lose something in the taxi and they have not noted the taxi number, all they have to do is inform us of the exact location where they were picked up and dropped off, the time of their journey and an approximate fare they paid. We have an efficient system where we can track down the taxi and the driver,” said Ali.