Muslim Cab Drivers Return Thousands of Dollars Left in Taxi

Posted on January 13, 2010


BBC News

Mukul Asadujjaman returns $21,000

A Bangladeshi taxi driver in New York City has gone out of his way to track down the person who left thousands of dollars in cash in the back of his cab.

Mukul Asadujjaman, a medical student, drove nearly 80km (50 miles) to an address he found with the money.

He left his phone number when he found no-one at home. The money belonged to an Italian grandmother visiting the US.

Mr Asadujjaman was offered a reward, but he turned it down saying that as a devout Muslim he could not accept it.

Felicia Lettieri, of Pompeii, Italy, and six relatives had taken two cabs on Christmas Eve, Newsday newspaper reported.

Mrs Lettieri, 72, left her handbag behind, with more than $21,000 of the group’s travelling money, jewellery worth thousands more, and some of their passports.

Her sister, Francesca Lettieri, 79, of Long Island, said the honest driver had saved her family’s vacation.

“We really love what he did,” she said.

‘Be honest’

A gracious Asadujjaman was quoted by the newspaper as saying that he may be broke, but he was also honest.

“My mother is my inspiration. She always said to be honest and work hard.”

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Osman Chowdury returns $500,000

BBC Newstaxi driver in New York is the toast of the Big Apple after returning a $500,000 lost bag of diamond rings to their rightful owner.

Osman Chowdhury’s honesty has made him an instant celebrity, propelling him onto the city’s airwaves to receive the plaudits of the great and the good.

He says that he is proud of what he did, because cab drivers are honest. […]

Owner traced

Forty-one-year-old Mr Chowdhury – a Bangladeshi green card holder – was plying his trade as usual in Manhattan on Monday evening, when a female passenger boarded his cab at a midtown Hotel.

The passenger got off at an apartment building on 35th street.

She paid $11 for the $10.70 fare. But she left a bag full of diamonds in the boot of the vehicle.

When the next set of passengers tried to put their luggage in the boot, Mr Chowdhury found the bag.

But with the help of the New York City Taxi Workers’ Alliance, a cabbies’ advocacy group, the bag was opened to reveal around 30 diamond rings, neatly tucked into cases.

There were some loose diamond rings too. There was also a laptop and some business papers. Next Mr Chowdhury, with the help of the taxi workers’ alliance, had to contact the owner.

Eventually they found a Texas phone number in the bag, and after repeated calls they traced the mother of the bag’s owner. [more]