Tue, Aug 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Iranian businessman has wallet, passport returned

Staff Writer, with CNA

Iranian businessman Vazir Nia Hamzeh bows to an immigration officer in Taipei yesterday to show his gratitude after a taxi driver handed his lost wallet over to the National Immigration Agency.

Photo courtesy of the National Immigration Agency

Losing one’s wallet or purse can be a frustrating experience, but thanks to a civic-minded taxi driver, a visiting Iranian businessman was lucky enough to have his returned intact yesterday, less than two days after inadvertently leaving it in a Taipei taxi cab.

Vazir Nia Hamzeh, a 28-year-old manager of an electronics company in Iran, arrived in Taipei on July 31 for a two-week stay, his first visit to Taiwan.

He took a taxi back to his hotel on Saturday evening and it was not until he returned to his room that he realized he had unwittingly left behind his wallet, containing his money, his clients’ numbers, his passport and his bank information.

He dashed to the hotel’s information desk for help, but to his dismay, the hotel staff claimed they could not do anything to help him get his wallet back.

Meanwhile, the taxi driver, Hung Yi-yi (洪義益), found the wallet later that evening. Upon discovering that the owner of the purse was a foreigner, Hung decided to take it to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) when it opened yesterday.

NIA officer Weng Ching-ju (翁靜如) then traced Hamzeh through her computer and found the name of his hotel. She then phoned the hotel to say that Hamzeh’s wallet was awaiting collection.

Hamzeh rushed to the agency to meet Weng and retrieve his belongings. He was overwhelmed, and although his Muslim faith prevented him from shaking hands with her, he bowed deeply several times in gratitude and said “thank you” many times in Mandarin, one of the few phrases that he knows in the language.

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