Thu, Nov 09, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Indebted Taipei cabbie turns in cash-filled bag

By Wu Yueh-hsiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

An honest Taipei taxi driver has been praised for turning over to police a bag containing about NT$210,000 in cash and store vouchers that a passenger left in his car on Sunday.

"I may be poor, but my heart is not," 63-year-old Hsu Chiang-chuan (徐江泉) said.

Hsu said he has debts totalling NT$3 million, but he would never have been at peace if he had kept the money.

Hsu dropped off a woman at Breeze Center on Fuxing S Rd around 3pm on Sunday.

The woman was in such a hurry that she paid the fare and leapt out of the cab with her leather purse without even shutting the door.

While stopped at a red light a few moments later, Hsu noticed that the woman had left a purple paper bag on the seat.

When he opened it to see if he could find a way to contact the woman, he was stunned to see that it contained more than NT$170,000 in cash and NT$30,000 in Breeze Center vouchers.

Hsu immediately returned to Breeze Center and went inside to look for the woman, at the risk of having his cab towed from its illegal parking space.

After searching tor about 10 minutes without success, Hsu went to the Songshan District police station to turn over the bag.

Not long afterward, the woman arrived at the police station and thanked Hsu profusely for turning in her bag.

"I have been poor, so I know the pain of not having money," Hsu said.

He said he knew he couldn't take the money when he thought that by pocketing it he could be hurting a person or family that might be depending upon it.

Hsu has driven a taxi for more than 10 years. He says that he always returns lost items to their owners -- personally if he can -- or by turning them into the police.

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