Taxi drivers find all sorts of things in their cabs, from wallets, purses and mobile phones, to keys, jewellery and children’s toys.
Reuniting owners with their lost property isn’t always easy, especially if a taxi driver has had a busy shift and there have been several fares in and out of their cab.
When drivers do discover things that have been left behind, items such as purses, wallets and mobile phones can be easier to return to their owners because many of them contain names and addresses. Owners of missing mobiles often try to call their phones which are answered by taxi drivers who can reunite the device with the grateful passenger.
This is a particularly common scenario at weekends, when people enjoy a night out and drop their phone or other valuables as they get out of the taxi.
But other items are more difficult to return and in the case of cash, there is a lot of goodwill on both sides to make sure any money is returned to its rightful owner.
This is why there has been such an outpouring of support for a Ghanian taxi driver who returned £570 (8,400 Ghanian cedi) he found in his cab at the end of a shift.
The BBC and The Sun both carried the story about Isaac Ackon, who knew he had to do the right thing, despite struggling to feed his family at the time, paying his taxi insurance, and his ageing cab needing repairs.
Isaac told local radio station Okay FM: “I saw the money in my car after closing down from work, but after consulting my wife briefly about it, I decided to return to cash.
“The simple reason is that I don’t take things that are not mine.”
The father-of-three worked out that local fishmonger Teshie was the rightful owner of the cash, and got in touch with her to return it.
The emotional encounter was witnessed and videoed by Teshie’s neighbours, who recorded the grateful fishmonger crying and hugging Isaac following a sleepless night worrying about the missing money. The video was shared and news of Isaac’s actions quickly spread.
His honesty has earned him praised across Ghana – and a reward worth several times more than the full amount he handed back to Teshie.
Journalist Manasseh Azure picked up the story and began a fundraiser to reward the selfless cabbie, with politicians and musicians rushing to support the driver.
Ghana Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia gave Isaac £1,355 (GH₵20,000), and musician KiDi rewarded him with £340 (GH₵5,000).
Contributions have since followed from people all over the country who have been inspired by the story of the honest taxi driver. Isaac has been a cabbie for seven years and in that time has found and returned five mobile phones, but this is the first time he has found such a large amount of cash.
It is not the first time honest taxi drivers have saved the day and made headlines. In 1994, California taxi driver Juan Blanco saved Brazilian World Cup winning goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel’s blushes after finding the footballer’s winner’s medal, money and passport in the back of his cab after beating Italy in the final.
The driver received a cash reward from the grateful goalkeeper, as well as signed memorabilia and got to meet his World Cup-winning teammates.
What is the most valuable item that has been left in your taxi?
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