Ikea worker returns bag containing $20k

Ikea worker returns bag containing $20k
The worker gave the bag to security supervisors Lee Heng Beng and Mr Kanabadi (above).

A chef has praised an Ikea staff member who handed in his wife's lost handbag containing more than $20,000 in cash.

The female worker was alerted to the designer Longchamp bag that was left on a bed at the furniture giant's Tampines store and passed it to two security supervisors - Mr Lee Heng Beng and Mr Kanabadi, who goes by one name - who were stationed at the store.

The bag also held the passports of Singaporean chef Henry Tay, 36, his Vietnamese wife Kayo Tran, 30, and their daughter, as well as his wife's identity card, which the store used to contact her. The bag was missing for around 15 minutes but Mr Tay told The Straits Times they did not realise it was gone.

He said: "My wife and I were shopping for furniture for our new house and we wanted to pay for the new furniture with cash. That's why we did not deposit the money in a bank."

Mr Tay added: "We went to Ikea to try out the beds and my wife left her bag on a bed. I did not even realise the bag was lost at first."

Mr Lee, who works for Prosec Security, said: "There was a plastic bag in the handbag and it had two thick stacks of $50 notes.

"We tried counting the money, to check later if the amount tallies with what the owner says but we gave up because there was just too much cash."

Mr Lee added: "We did not ask them why there was so much money in the bag. The most important thing is to just be honest."

Mr Tay, a Western food chef who is relocating to Singapore from Vietnam with his family, wrote on Tuesday about the April 24 incident on citizen journalism website Stomp.

The Ikea sales worker, who was alerted to the bag by a customer, asked to remain anonymous.

Deputy store manager Jing Li said the way the incident was handled was "in line with our company policy, which values honesty".

Mr Tay is planning to give the woman a reward of his own.

He said: "If the bag was lost for good, we would be very sad and angry, as we need this money for the renovation and furnishings.

"When the bag was found, we were speechless and didn't know what to do to show our thanks. After discussing it with my wife, we decided that we will get her something from Vietnam."


This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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