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Retesh James Gupta with his wife Aparupa Ganguly and son Vivaan Aiden Gupta. Dubai Police honoured Gupta for returning a bag full of cash and jewellery to police. Image Credit:

Dubai: Imagine a jobless man finding a bag full of cash and gold. What would he do? The first thought is that he will keep the ‘treasure’. But this was not the case with Indian expatriate Retesh James Gupta.

Dubai-based banker Gupta returned a bag containing $14,000 (Dh51,492) in cash, gold jewellery worth Dh200,000 and three American passports to its owner.

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Dubai Police also did not miss the chance to honour such an honest resident.

Police certificate

Brigadier Yousef Abdullah Salim Al Adidi, Director of Al Qusais Police Station, honoured Gupta with a certificate of appreciation. Gupta’s happiness knew no bounds after he received such a big recognition from Dubai Police.

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Dubai Police certificate of appreciation for Gupta

“Keeping the bag never crossed my mind and there was no second thought about not returning it to its owner,” Gupta told Gulf News.

Gupta’s gesture carries even greater value and significance because he found the ‘treasure’ just a week after he lost his job. The 37-year-old banker from Kolkata said it was a difficult time for him and he could have kept the bag considering it a ‘gift’, “But I could have never lived with that decision”.

How he found the bag

Gupta, who lives in Dubai, with his wife Aparupa Ganguly and their three-year-old son Vivaan Aiden Gupta, had visited a salon in Al Qusais near the Metro station around 10.30pm. He found the backpack on his car bonnet when he came back. He was perplexed and did not know what to do with it. He waited for about 30 minutes for someone to come and claim the bag, but no one turned up. He then decided to open the bag to check for any identity or contact details, but was instead stunned to see what was there inside the bag. “There were stacks of US dollars and a lot of gold jewellery. I also found three American passports,” he recalled.

Wife's reaction

Gupta decided to go inside the Metro station to hand over the bag to the policeman there, but he could not find anyone on duty because it was already late. “I did not know how to find the owner of the bag. Then I decided to call my wife because it was getting late and told her the whole story. Instead of being excited about the ‘treasure’ I had found, she immediately told me to go to the police staying. She said it was ‘God testing us during these difficult times. So don’t fail [to return it]’.”

Drive to police station

Soon after that, Gupta drove to Al Qusais Police Station and handed the bag over to the police officer on duty. He took his contact details and thanked him for his noble gesture.

“Only one thought crossed my mind while I was driving to the police station. What if the owner of the bag tells the police about any jewellery or cash gone missing from the bag [after I found it]? But thank God, that did not happen,” he said.

Bag owner calls Gupta

Next day, Gupta got a call from the owner of the bag. His name was Boby Hameed, an Bangladeshi American. “Hameed was much obliged and thanked me repeatedly for my good gesture and honesty. I could not meet him because he was travelling back to the United States. He had come to Dubai with his family to visit his parents who have been living here for the last 45 years.”

Soon, Gupta’s joy was doubled when he got a new job offer from a bank. “I believe this was my reward from God in difficult times as I got a good job offer while many others are losing theirs. I feel elevated and happy while my family and friends are proud of me. I am even getting calls from my friends and relatives from India, congratulating me for my honesty,” Gupta gushed.