An honest cabbie returned two bags containing a diamond ring, a gold chain and expensive saris to a businessman after he left the small fortune in the boot of the taxi on Friday evening.
Instead of pocketing the valuables worth Rs 1 lakh, which is equivalent of a year-and-a-half’s wages for him, taxi driver Anil Prasad took the bags to Taltala police station around 11pm after driving around the city for four hours since he “was getting passengers and could not refuse”. All the while, the bags were lying untouched in the back of his car.
The police said Prasad, a resident of Taltala, drove businessman Sheetal Kumar Agarwal and his brother-in-law Arun Kumar Jain from near their Mominpore home to Deshapriya Park.
But the duo forgot to take the bags out of the boot. “There were jewellery and saris for my nephew’s engagement held yesterday evening at a hotel,” said Agarwal.
“We immediately went to Lake police station and reported the matter with the taxi’s registration number. I have this habit of looking at the number plate of a taxi before boarding it. Most of the times I remember the initials and digits… and my memory didn’t fail when the police asked me to provide the registration number.”
Officers at Lake police station gave Agarwal the address of the taxi owner, who lives at Entally.
Sources said police stations generally keep data of all vehicles registered in Calcutta and this helped track the driver, the cab and the owner.
The duo then went to Ballygunge and bought a new set of jewellery and saris. “Once the engagement ceremony was over, I went looking for the taxi owner at Entally. He told me that my bags were untouched and the driver had gone to Taltala police station to return them,” Agarwal said.
The businessman said he was jumping for joy when he found the two bags intact at the police station. “There was a diamond ring, a gold chain weighing 1.8gm and two saris. All of these were there… the driver hadn’t opened the bags even to see what was inside,” he said.
“I am really thankful to the driver,” Agarwal said.
An officer said the driver was initially not aware that the duo had forgotten to take their bags when he dropped them at Deshapriya Park.
“He said he came to know of the baggage in the boot a while later but couldn’t do anything because he was getting passengers one after another. The driver told us that he is a poor man and since he got passengers he did not want to waste the opportunity to earn. He thought of returning the bags at night before going home. We have reasons to believe him since the bags were untouched,” said the officer.