The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) is scheduled to destroy nearly 400 mobile phones at the Taipei Railway Station tomorrow, as they have been left unclaimed for more than three years.
Taipei Railway Station master Chien Hsin-li (簡信立) said items in the lost and found warehouse are available to be claimed for three years and then auctioned if nobody claims them within that period.
However, “the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) states that personal mobile devices cannot be auctioned,” he said. “We have about 400 mobile phones that were left either on the train or inside train stations between 2010 and 2012. They, along with three laptops collected during the same period, will be hammered to pieces.”
Chien said that passengers lose a lot of things, from white canes used by visually impaired people to briefcases, statues of deities and even ancestral tablets.
Statistics from the TRA showed that the majority of items in the lost and found warehouse were umbrellas, followed by water bottles and food.
Chien said the TRA would prefer to sell some of the mobile phones through public auctions, as it would help generate revenue for the agency, but it cannot do so because of the legal restrictions.
The TRA said passengers are most likely to lose things in the restrooms inside the Taipei Railway Station. The custodians usually find lost items when they clean the bathrooms, including laptops and important work documents.
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