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Retired Vietnamese teacher returns $5,500 found in lost bag to owner

Thursday, June 06, 2019, 14:53 GMT+7
Retired Vietnamese teacher returns $5,500 found in lost bag to owner
Nguyen Huu Hanh. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Huu Hanh had never held thousands of U.S. dollars in his hands before, so when he found a bag with VND130 million (US$5,500) left in front of his house, the 53-year-old was paralyzed with shock.

“I trembled when I opened the bag and saw such a large amount of cash inside,” the 53-year-old shared with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Hanh was standing in the front yard of his house alongside a highway in Tan Thang Commune, Ham Tan District in the south-central province of Binh Thuan on May 25, when he saw a white plastic bag in the street. 

Through the translucent bag, he was able to see an ID card, some papers, and banknotes, and decided to take it into his house to check out its content.

The money Nguyen Huu Hanh found in the bag is seen in this supplied photo.

The money Nguyen Huu Hanh found in the bag is seen in this supplied photo.

In a state of shock, he pulled out VND130 million ($5,500) from the bag, “a sum I had never been able to hold in my hands,” he said.

“It took a few minutes before I could make up my mind,” Hanh admitted while discussing the moral struggle of whether or not to keep the money.

“I was just thinking 'how I would feel if I lost this money,' so I decided that I would find the owner and give it back.”

As Hanh looked through the papers found in the bag, he discovered that the owner lived just a few kilometers away and worked with some friends to find the person’s contact information. 

Eventually a meeting was set, the bag was returned to its rightful owner, and police were notified of the good deed.

Nguyen Huu Hanh is pictured at his part-time job as a security guard and cleaner in Binh Thuan, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Huu Hanh is pictured doing his part-time job as a housekeeper at a state office in Binh Thuan, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre

Hanh said he never expected a thank or gift in return, he just did what needed to be done.

“From the documents inside the bag, I knew that the money was newly borrowed from a moneylender and was meant to be used as payment for an official bank loan,” he told Tuoi Tre.

“Maybe he would have been in trouble with the bank had he not been able to repay the money on time.”

Hanh said he feels “comfortable and relieved” after “doing a good thing.”

“I would have taken the money if I were a greedy man,” he said.

Hanh and his wife are both retired teachers. The couple run a small photocopy shop at their house and the husband moonlights as a housekeeper for the commune’s administration office.

Nguyen Huu Hanh is pictured at his part-time job as a security guard and cleaner in Binh Thuan, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Huu Hanh is pictured doing his part-time job as a housekeeper at a state office in Binh Thuan, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Duc Trong / Tuoi Tre

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