A 25-YEAR-OLD man who found $25,000 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel car park on June 10 last year, and handed it all to police at the Port of Spain CID, yesterday had the money returned to him as no one had come forward to claim it.
The man said he was stunned yesterday when he was contacted by Acting Senior Superintendent Ajith Persad and informed the cash was now his.
When asked yesterday how he felt about his good fortune, the man told Newsday, “Awesome.” He said he immediately contacted his girlfriend and close relatives to share the good news.
He was met at the Port of Spain CID yesterday by Persad who again commended him for his honesty and gave him the cash. Persad told the man his actions demonstrated there are still honest people around and he should encourage others to practise honesty as he did when he handed over the money which could have belonged to someone who may have withdrawn the money for medical purposes, or to pay bills. He also advised the man to spend the money wisely.
The man was even accompanied by police to a nearby bank to deposit the money and was escorted back to his job.
He told Newsday he felt he was already rewarded for his honesty last year when he received the keys to a new HDC home and was wondering where he would get the money to furnish the house. He said he even contemplated getting engaged to his girlfriend but was financially constrained.
Now that he has received the money, he intends to furnish his kitchen and engage his girlfriend because he believes the time is right.
“I feel really awesome, I feel great, I feel richly rewarded and I believe in my heart that honesty really pays off,” he said. “I have seen this happen in my life, so I am advising other young people that doing the right thing is always the right thing to do.”
Recalling the day when he found the money, he said he never for a moment thought about keeping it. He said his parents taught him about practising honesty and that is how he has lived his life.
Asked by Newsday if he was aware he would be entitled to the money if no one claimed it, he said he was advised of this by relatives but chose to wait until the police contacted him.
Newsday was told PC Anil Bharath conducted investigations, including interviewing people at the hotel, but no one claimed to have lost the cash. Persad consulted ACP Irwin Hackshaw and Section 52 of the Police Service Act Chapter 15:01 was invoked.
The act states, “Where the owner cannot be ascertained and the finder makes a claim after three months, the property shall be handed over to him. Such finder shall be required to sign a bond of indemnity with respect to the delivery in accordance with Section 52 of the Police Service act Chapter 15:01.”