By The Nation
The passenger, Op Simony Odum, 24, got the money back from the Traffic Police FM91 radio station in Lat Phrao district on Monday morning, and gave a cash reward to the taxi driver.
Rawee Thongbor, 42, said he had delivered several passengers on Sunday night, after which he found the bag inside his cab but was unsure which of them it belonged to.
He therefore contacted the radio station asking for help in locating the owner.
At 8pm, he had driven a man and two women from Lat Phrao to the Ratchaprarop area, and then picked up two Chinese passengers and drove them to a spot on a road along the Ram Indra-Art Narong expressway.
He later found the handbag in a small space between the front passenger seat and the door when he stopped to fill his tank with gas at 10pm.
Rawee said he had seen a man in each of the two groups of passengers carrying a handbag, but the bag that one of them had left behind did not contain any ID card or other identification document.
It did however contain baht banknotes, Cambodian riel notes and US dollar notes totalling the equivalent of some Bt270,000.
Rawee admitted that he had been tempted by the unexpected find and that his hands had trembled when he saw there was so much money, but his wife reminded him that he would go to jail if he used money found in such a way.
“I didn’t want trouble and I wanted the owner to get the money back. The owner may have been crying knowing the money had gone, so I contacted the radio station to find the owner,” he explained.
On getting his bag and all the cash back, the Cambodian owner said the money was for his aunt to have plastic surgery on her nose.
When he realised he had lost the bag, he filed a complaint with Phaya Thai police station on Sunday night.
The much-relieved Cambodian gave a Bt40,000 cash reward in the three currencies in gratitude to the taxi driver.