Africa News Dubai cleaner stumbles on bag of bars worth Dh2.5...

Dubai cleaner stumbles on bag of bars worth Dh2.5 million while sweeping car park

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Taher Ali Maqbool, a cleaner from Pakistan, is handed a token of appreciation by Mattar Al Tayer, director general of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. Courtesy: RTA


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A cleaner who found a bag filled with 15kg of gold bars said he never had a second thought about handing it into the authorities.

The bars stuffed in the blue wheelie suitcase would fetch Dh2.56 million ($698,339) at current market prices.

Taher Ali Maqbool spotted it in the corner of a multi-storey car park in the Al Sabkha area of Deira, close to the gold souq, as he cleaned the floor during a late shift last week.

“It was very heavy. I thought at first that the bag belonged to a mechanic because it looked like a box that contained tools,” Mr Maqbool, who was worked in the UAE since 2013, told The National.

“But it was unusually heavy. We kept it aside because we thought someone would come to collect it.”

The security guard on duty then asked Mr Maqbool to open the bag in case it contained information about the owner.

“We were shocked to find so much gold – no wonder it was so heavy,” he said.

A cleaner found a bag containing 15kilograms of gold in a Dubai car park and handed it over to authorities. Courtesy: Roads and Transport Authority - RTA

A cleaner found a bag containing 15kilograms of gold in a Dubai car park and handed it over to authorities. Courtesy: Roads and Transport Authority – RTA

The Roads and Transport Authority presented Mr Maqbool with a certificate to recognise his honesty and integrity. He also received a reward.

When he called home to tell his family, his father said they did not expect anything less from him.

“My father told me that there could have been billions inside the bag but I did the right thing to give it back,” he said.

“My family is poor, my father worked as a labourer, but he has always taught us to return what did not belong to us.”

There have been several instances of workers and taxi drivers returning lost money and gold.

It is not known why the bars of gold were left in the car park. The suitcase has since been handed over to the police and no one has claimed ownership yet.

A gram of 24-carat gold in Dubai is valued at about Dh171.

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