ALBERTA

Calgary Cab Driver Returns $10,000, Rewarded For Honesty

08/22/2015 07:33 EDT | Updated 08/23/2015 11:59 EDT

A tourist visiting Calgary avoided a $10,000 mistake by choosing to ride in Mohammad Khawaja’s taxi.

Khawaja picked up a mother and son from the Calgary International Airport, and unloaded the trunk of his car at their hotel, only to discover a bag in the passenger seat went unnoticed. In town from China to visit her son at a nearby college, the mother's plane ticket, passport and $10,000 cash were all inside the bag, reported Metro.

When the Associated Cabs driver discovered the bag and its contents, he immediately contacted his supervisors — instead of taking it to the lost and found — and said it was an important package, and it was his responsibility to see it returned.

Finding the bag's original owner posed a challenge for Khawaja, the Calgary Sun reports. The name on the passport did not match the name of the hotel reservation, which Khawaja didn't know. The two were booked under her son's name instead.

“I was able to contact them,” Associated Cabs supervisor Roger Richard said to CTV News. “I had the driver go and meet them in the hotel lobby to return the bag with all its contents.”

Khawaja said it never occurred to him to keep the money. This is what separates a good cab driver and a good cab company from the others, he told the Sun.

Whenever he has come across people’s belongings in his cab, he’s always tried to return it to its rightful owners, said the outlet.

The family insisted that Khawaja accept an $800 tip, which he did reluctantly. "I said I was just doing my job,” said Khawaja, to CTV News.

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