A Ho Chi Minh City scrap vendor who accidentally found more than 5 million Japanese yen (US$42,073) in an old speaker will be able to get the money after the police established that the money was "ownerless."
On Tuesday police in Tan Binh District told 36-year-old Huynh Thi Anh Hong that they had rejected a claim made recently by a woman that the money belonged to her South African husband and would give Hong the money soon.
The money was in a small wooden box hidden inside a speaker that Hong had bought from a stranger in late 2013 for VND100,000 ($4.63).
She had kept the speaker and broke it open in March 2014 to recycle the metal.
Japanese bank notes flew out of the box and people in the vicinity tried to grab some. Soon strangers lined up outside her door, all demanding some of the money.
Hong was afraid and called the police in Tan Binh District, where the woman from the central province of Quang Ngai has been boarding for nearly 20 years. The police confiscated the money and issued a note asking the owner to come and claim the money on April 28, 2014.
Earlier April this year a woman named Nguyen Thi Ngot told the police her South African husband named Caleb Afolayan, 48, once told her that he had put 6 million yen in a box but could not remember where it was.
Ngot, 40, said in November 2013 she gave the box along with other scrap to a cousin who then sold them to a vendor.
Ngot said her husband had earned the money while working as a teacher in Japan.
But since he is currently not in Vietnam, she does not have papers to prove the claim, she said.
The Tan Binh police then discovered that Afolayan had used a fake passport to enter Vietnam and returned to his home country in 2013, and will not be allowed to enter Vietnam again.
Based on this they dismissed Ngot’s claim.
They had told Hong they could not give her the money yet since they needed more time to verify Ngot’s claim.
Hong then lodged a complaint against them.
Hong would have got the money if no one had made a claim by April 28, 2015, one year from the date the police issued the notice.
Under Vietnamese law, anyone who finds “ownerless” cash is entitled to at least half of it.