A Ho Chi Minh City scrap dealer who was allowed to claim more than five million yen (US$41,600) hidden among the junk she bought in mid-2015 has had a fresh reason to celebrate her good fortune.
The torn, unusable banknotes among the hefty amount of cash Huynh Thi Anh Hong legally received in June will soon be exchanged for new bills, her lawyer said Tuesday.
The lucky 36-year-old woman found the ‘treasure,’ which consists of 524 banknotes of 10,000 yen, in a dumped pair of loudspeakers, but she had to wait for more than a year to have all the relevant legal issues cleared to be able to keep it.
But Hong was quite upset to learn that 114 of the banknotes, or 1.14 million yen, were in poor conditions and unusable.
However, local lender Maritime Bank, which exchanged the fortune into Vietnamese dong for her, has promised to seek help from its Japanese counterparts to change the torn bills for new notes.
“A Japanese bank has agreed to exchange all of these unusual banknotes with no surcharges for Hong,” her lawyer, Ha Hai, said on Tuesday.
The Japanese bank will transfer the 1.14 million yen sum to Maritime Bank in a month, after that the Vietnamese lender will give Hong the equivalent in dong, according to the lawyer.
Hong smiles when receiving the money.
The story of Hong finding the fortune and then being faced with a myriad of problems before eventually being able to claim it has been a saga that captured national headlines for months.
In November 2013, the scrap dealer bought a dumped pair of loudspeakers from a man in Tan Binh District for VND100,000 ($4.6), without knowing there was a huge amount of cash inside.
She only discovered the fortune when dismantling the devices in March 2014, and quickly turned the money to Tan Binh police, who later ran public announcements to find the owner of the money.
The rule was that if no one showed up after a year, Hong would be able to claim it.
On April 10, 2015, a 40-year-old woman named Pham Thi Ngot came to the police and claimed the money belonged to her South African husband.
On May 19, Tan Binh police rejected Ngot’s groundless claim, and also found out that her husband used fake papers to work in Vietnam.
On June 2, Hong received the money.
“I am deliriously happy,” she told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper then.
Hong asserted that after doing some charity work and putting part of the money in savings, she would return to her job as a scrap dealer, which she has been doing for 17 years.
“I will not quit even when I have so [much] money,” she said.