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Paltry reward for bus conductor’s Bt1.12m find

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A BANGKOK bus conductor returned a backpack containing Bt1.12 million in cash to its owner on Sunday.

Sumon Mathidol, 50, reported the discovery to Mueang Samut Prakan police on Sunday afternoon, wanting it recorded that she had returned the bag to its owner, a gynaecologist from Chon Buri’s Si Racha district. 
Daily News reported that the relieved physician, who was not named, rewarded the bus conductor with two packets of snacks, a gesture that has elicited criticism on social media for being such a paltry recompense.
The doctor had apparently withdrawn the cash that morning to transfer it to a bank in Samut Prakan’s Mueang district.
He took a bus from Sri Racha to Bangkok and at the Bang Na intersection switched to air-conditioned bus No 511 on which Sumon was the conductor. When he disembarked in Samut Prakan, he forgot about the bag sitting at his feet, only realising his mistake when he went to the bank to deposit the money. The doctor went to the bus depot on Soi Crocodile Farm and was reunited with Sumon and his cash. 
Sumon told police she had found the bag while tidying the bus at the terminus and turned it over to the depot chief while she reported her fare sales to the cashier. The depot chief found the cash inside and asked her to be a witness while he counted it. 
The two were trying to figure out how to contact the owner when the gynaecologist arrived with his bank passbook as proof of ownership. 
Sumon and the doctor took the depot chief’s advice and together notified police of the incident.
The reported reward of two snack packets was criticised widely among social media users as inappropriate for the return of Bt1.12 million. 
According to the Civil and Commercial Code’s Section 1324, a person who finds lost property and returns it to the owner may claim a reward of 10 per cent of the value of the property worth up to Bt30,000, and five per cent of the additional value. 
In a case where the property is given to police who then locate the owner, 2.5 per cent of the value of the property shall also be paid as a fee to the government agency, not exceeding Bt1,000. 
Section 1323 requires a person who finds lost property to deliver it to or inform without delay the owner or any other person entitled to receive it, or to deliver it within three days to police and inform them of the circumstances of how it was found. Found property must also be kept with reasonable care until it is returned. 

Published : July 24, 2017

By : THE NATION