Kenyan airport worker finds $19,000 in cash in bag and returns it

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Finders keepers, losers weepers… is clearly an adage a policeman and Kenya Airports Authority workers at Wilson Airport disagree with, after returning a huge sum of money to a tourist lost in the ‘airport.

An airport employee discovered a small bag containing approximately 2.3 million shillings ($19,000), a few thousand Kenyan shillings, the tourist’s wallet and cards, which he had dropped while collecting his luggage at the airport.

In a letter to Customer Care, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Mr Benson Nickolson from the UK, who was on vacation in Kenya and Tanzania, said how if he had lost the money, “it had the potential to ruin our lives”. .

Mr Nickolson was responsible for all of his group’s resources and finances, so he had a substantial amount of cash and plastic money in the form of cards which made it easy for his group to travel and be comfortable, he said. he declares.

The incident happened in the middle of their trip, he said without disclosing when it was.

“We arrived at Wilson Airport with my whole group from (Maasai) Mara, where we were going to the hotel in anticipation of the next day’s trip to the coast,” he said.

Their bags were brought to them from the plane on a trolley and the passengers were allowed to collect them.

“With the help of our rider, we took our bags and headed to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, I noticed that one of my bags was missing. Coincidentally, it was the bag containing our money, valuables and cards. I immediately called our pilot who had been with us for over a week.

“He checked both vans but couldn’t find the bag. I panicked and asked him to go straight to the airport as I also took a taxi from the hotel to the airport. On the way, I called the airline to check if he was staying on the plane. They called back, unfortunately. I asked the airline staff to immediately check the CCTV at the airport, I was shocked to learn that the airport had no CCTV.

A panicked Mr Nickolson said he had developed time madness as it seemed they had no hope of getting the bag back.

As fate would have it, while in traffic near Kenyatta National Hospital, he received a call from a man who identified himself as Martin, asking to speak to Mr. Benson.

He said he dismissed the caller because he thought he was talking to a doorman he met in the Mara.

Martin didn’t give up and called back, insisting on knowing his identity, and this time mentioned that he was calling from Wilson’s airport security office.

“I calmed down and told him it was me, he told me a bag had been found at the pick up point and he was trying to find the owner. I told him in disbelief that I I was almost at the airport, I told my driver to drive fast,” he added.

He arrived at the airport and was directed to the office where he found Mr. Martin Kamau, with his supervisor identified as Joseph, and a policewoman.

“I found my bag, my wallet and my cards spread out on the table. Long story short, I found my bag and all of its contents intact. All the money totaling around 19,000 USD and a few thousand Kenyan shillings were all intact. All my cards were found intact. All other valuables, including a badge given to me by my late grandmother, were also intact. It was a dream for me. »

He said he called his people at the hotel to tell the good news and they insisted on sending one of them in a taxi to check out the story.

Mr Nickolson said that without any CCTV cameras he could not figure out how his bag containing valuables had been found and the owner had called to collect it.

“My brother lost a tenth in South Africa where they have robust CCTV but couldn’t get anything. So it’s not about the systems, it’s the human factor, the people, the staff which are the greatest asset I had no recourse it was my negligence but I still got all my stuff and money back My brother arrived from the hotel and I confirmed with tears of joy and shock.”

According to airport security, the bag was found at the pick-up point.

It appears that when the group retrieved their bags, Mr Nickolson accidentally dropped the little one with the money.

“In my country, it is not possible to recover. Only in Kenya, I can assure you,” he said.

In his farewell photo, he said he wrote the letter to confirm to Kenyan authorities that he would spread the good news around the world and affirm that Kenya was the destination of choice for tourists.

“To everyone working with or leading Martin Kamau, please receive this message of thanks. It is the best experience a customer can have in a foreign country.

The group’s next vacation was planned in another country. “We have since considered returning to Kenya because of the experience we gained from that official and the team.”

“We will also sell Nairobi Airport as the world’s airport of choice.

Finally, let me recommend the installation of a CCTV system in the airport at Wilson Airport. Thank you all.”

Talk to Nation on the phone, Mr Kabangi, one of the security guards who found the bag, said the incident happened early last month, adding: “This is not the first time we have found lost items here happen often and what we do first is scanned, before we reserve them in our lost and found section.”

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