SHARJAH // A taxi driver who returned a briefcase containing Dh1.7 million to its thankful owner said on Sunday it was not the first time a passenger had left cash in the back of his car.
Pakistani Naseerallah Sher Dola returned a briefcase containing the money and documents to a South Korean businessman, as previously reported by The National.
On Sunday, he recalled that last year he did the same for an Iranian man who had left a briefcase containing Dh50,000 in his taxi.
In the most recent example of his trustworthiness, the 30-year-old was given a certificate of gratitude plus Dh2,000 from Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, and Dh1,000 from the businessman.
“It felt good that I was recognised for my honesty, however, it’s part of my job and my duty as a devout Muslim to be honest and always do the righteous thing,” said the driver, who supports his siblings, his mother, wife and their three children with his Dh3,000-a-month wages.
He had picked up the Iranian man from Sharjah airport last year. “I returned the briefcase as well, and I was told that it contained Dh50,000,” said Mr Dola.
The South Korean businessman had also been picked up at Sharjah airport.
“I was shocked to know that he had this amount of money in his forgotten briefcase. The businessman came to Sharjah airport and told me to take him to Deira in Dubai at about 12pm,” said Mr Dola.
“He had two suitcases in the trunk and the briefcase that he forgot was in the back seat of my taxi. It seems that he was in a hurry and forgot it.
“Once I drove back to the airport and found the bag, I immediately reported it to the taxi office at the airport, and then they contacted the police to find the man.”
Mr Dola hails from Peshawar, where his wife and family members share a home.
“I have been married for eight years and have three children,” he said. “My eldest is a boy aged 7, I have a 5-year-old girl and my wife just delivered another son who is 7 months old now.
“I have six sisters and only one of them is currently living at home with my only brother and old mother, alongside my wife and children.”
After his father died, the family became dependent on him to support them financially.
“I have been working as a taxi driver for three years in the UAE and I wire as much money as I can for my family to be able to live properly,” Mr Dola said.
“My brother is enrolled in a university and he needs financial support with my old mother and sister. I try to send at least Dh1,500 each month so that they can live decently.
“I work from 6am to 10pm to be able to generate enough money for me and my family.”
Mr Dola said he shares a room with three others in Muweileh, near the school zone, in Sharjah.
The director of Sharjah RTA, Abdulaziz Al Jarwan, said taxi and bus drivers are applauded for their honesty.
Last month, the authority held an event to honour 256 drivers for their honesty, performance and dedication to their jobs. They were awarded a certificate of appreciation, financial rewards and a raft for valuable prizes, including mobile handsets and televisions.
“We always honour our dedicated staff members, and we encourage other drivers to follow suit, and Mr Dola was an excellent example of a dedicated cabbie,” Mr Al Jarwan said.