Finder to get abandoned 5 million yen

Update: May, 20/2015 - 18:37
Vendor Huynh Thi Anh Hong is expected to receive the 5 million Japanese yen (roughly US$41,330) she found last year. File Photo

HCM City (VNS) — The Tan Binh district police have said there has been no dispute over the ownership of the 5 million Japanese yen (roughly US$41,330) that was found by a woman vendor last year.

After investigating the case for more than one year and urging the public to find the real owner of the abandoned money, the police said they will soon deliver the money to Huynh Thi Anh Hong, the vendor who first found it hidden inside an old loudspeaker, which she found while collecting solid waste in the city. She handed it over to the local police.

The local police had issued public statements urging the owner of the cash to show up and claim the money by April 28, or it will go to Hong.

One day before the deadline, a woman named Pham Thi Ngot showed up at the police station, claiming that the money belonged to her husband Afolayan Caleb, a South African national.

Ngot demanded that the police verify the case and return the money to her spouse.

However, the Municipal Police found that Caleb had faked several documents while living and working in HCM City from 2010 to 2013.

An officer with the Tan Binh Police said they have dismissed Ngot's petition claiming the ownership of the money. He added that a consulting board will be set up to deliver the money to Hong as soon as possible, The Voice of Viet Nam reported yesterday.

Since Hong discovered the money in a wooden box on March 21 last year and handed it over to the police, legal experts and the public have been debating who should get the money, the one who found it or the state, in case its real owner never shows up.

Under Vietnamese laws, whoever finds the money becomes eligible to claim all of it, if it is classified as "ownerless".

If the money is categorised as "forgotten" or "abandoned", then the person who found it receives only a sum equal to ten months of minimum wage and 50 per cent of the exceeding value. The remainder of the amount goes to the state.

According to the vendor, the box was inside an iron box she had bought from an unidentified person for VND100,000 ($20) in late 2013.

Hong recently told a local paper that she hoped to receive all the money so that her family will be financially "less miserable," while her husband said they will give part of the money to charity. — VNS