AT A TIME when the public’s trust in the police service is a debatable subject comes this story of an honest policeman who found $2,000 left behind by another person in the ATM room of a bank and made it his business to ensure the cash was returned to its rightful owner.
PC Dario Ramlal of the Marabella Police Station yesterday rushed out of the bank’s ATM room and went in search of the man who had left behind a wad of cash in the ATM’s dispensing slot. But, Ramlal could not locate him.
The incident happened around mid-morning at the Scotiabank ATM off the Marabella Main Road. Ramlal, who was in police uniform, later told Newsday when the man, who turned out to be a prison officer, left the ATM room he left behind his money and debit card.
Ramlal grabbed the cash and bank card and ran out after the man. “I could recall the colour shirt the person was wearing who passed me as he left and I entered the ATM. Normal police instinct...but I couldn’t find him outside on the road,” Ramlal said.
Ramlal returned to the bank and reported the matter to a teller. Based on the information which the debit card revealed, the bank called the prison officer and asked him to return immediately to the bank. By then, Ramlal had handed over the money to bank officials and signed a document verifying this.
An hour later, the prison officer went to the Marabella Police Station and personally thanked Ramlal.
He even offered him some cash as a reward but the constable refused. Asked why, Ramlal said, “I upheld my duty which is to protect and also serve. That in itself is just reward.”
The prison officer, contacted by Newsday, confirmed the incident but because of the nature of his job, asked not to be identified. “It was so heartwarming to meet this police officer who displayed great honesty when he saw I had left behind my money and card, which I thought had gotten stuck in the machine. I am very grateful for what the officer did,” the prison officer said.