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Vietnamese apartment cleaner returns $7,400 to foreign guest

Friday, May 17, 2019, 17:24 GMT+7
Vietnamese apartment cleaner returns $7,400 to foreign guest
Nguyen Ngoc Hien is pictured during a break at Dat Phuong Nam Apartment Complex in Ho Chi Minh City on May 15, 2019. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

A janitor at a condominium complex in Ho Chi Minh City has found a large amount of cash while cleaning an apartment and immediately sought out the owner to return the money.

Nguyen Ngoc Hien, a 26-year-old employee at Dat Phuong Nam Apartment Complex, was cleaning a flat after a temporary tenant left on Tuesday when he came across US$7,400 in cash.

He then notified the manager to establish contact with the rightful owner and was eventually able to return the cash to a Ukrainian guest named Artern, who had just ended the six-month lease of the unit.

Hien received a “Nguoi Tot Viec Tot” (Good People Doing Good Things) award from the building’s management board, along with praise from the complex’s residents and Arten.

Arten was not shy in admitting his shock that the money was returned.

Hien explained that he could not imagine having such a large amount of cash, only thinking about ensuring it was returned to its owner.

“I was so proud of myself when I saw the happiness in Artern’s eyes,” the man beamed.

Nguyen Tan Tai, the manager of Dat Phuong Nam, shared that Hien is an honest and hard-working staff member who has gained admiration and love from residents and colleagues.

“Hien sets a good example of nobility for everybody to follow,” Tai said.

Ukrainian Artern smiles happily he receives his money. Photo: Tan Tai / Tuoi Tre

Ukrainian Artern smiles happily as he receives his money. Photo: Tan Tai / Tuoi Tre

Hien’s mother said in an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he dropped out of school when he was a tenth grader to help his mother earn a living after his father’s sudden death.

He now works to ensure that his mother will have enough money when she is ready to retire in the near future.

“Our family is poor but I’ve always taught my son to keep his dignity and be a good person,” the mother said.

After his good deed grabbed local headlines, many people began offering financial assistance to Hien, but the young man has refused all such offers.

“I only want to make money on my own,” he said.

Hien’s kindness also earned him a job offer from Nguyen Hoang Ho, the director of a refrigeration company in Ho Chi Minh City, who was touched by his story.

“I wanted to offer him an opportunity to have a better life because he deserves it,” he said on Thursday.

Hien will be trained for a year before officially working for Ho’s company, during which time all food and transportation fees will be covered by the employer.

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