Sydney Trains employees honoured with award after handing in wallet with almost $30,000 inside
A WALLET bursting with almost $30,000 in cash, a Chinese passport, a mystery receipt — it has all the ingredients of a mystery novel but it’s just another day on the job for two Sydney rail workers.
The two Sydney Trains employees wasted no time in putting on their detective hats to return the largest sum lost on the city’s public transport network to its owner.
Fahd Elshorafa and Naresh Awal spotted a bag left on the North Strathfield Station platform on March 8.
They were “anxious” when they counted the cash, which totalled an astounding $28,600.
“We were thinking the customer must be really distressed, so I was really trying to figure out how to get it back to them,” Mr Awal said.
Fortunately, the bag also held a Chinese passport belonging to a 34-year-old man and a receipt from an Auburn money exchange.
The rail workers contacted the exchange and asked that the passenger be alerted to his loss.
The man, who had not realised he’d lost the money, broke down when he arrived at the station.
“He wanted to kiss my hand or bow or something,” Mr Elshorafa said.
Mr Awal said the man kept repeating: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“He tried to give us some money as a reward but we said, ‘That’s not what we need — we really needed to find you and we found you,’ ” he said.
“I feel really satisfied. Still now I have that memory of his happy face, and that’s what we are here for.”
The money had been exchanged to fund the man’s tuition in Australia.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance commended Mr Elshorafa and Mr Awal for their “integrity” and “honesty”.
The pair were honoured with the “beyond brilliant” award at the Sydney Trains customer service awards.