'I just screw up a lot': Man loses passport in New Delhi, police find it 11 hours' train ride away

'I just screw up a lot': Man loses passport in New Delhi, police find it 11 hours' train ride away
Ethan Maniam lost his passport while on holiday in India, but managed to get it back with the help of Indian police officers.
PHOTO: TikTok/Ethan Maniam

Losing your passport while overseas can be a very unnerving experience, but Lady Luck happened to be on this man's side. 

Ethan Maniam shared how he managed to recover his passport in a TikTok video posted on Monday (Aug 8).

This Singaporean explained that he had been holidaying in India alone when he realised he had misplaced his passport. "I know no one in the country and I have absolutely no one to call," he said.


After some googling, Maniam filled up some forms and filed a police report. 

And the very next day, he received a message from a man named Atul from the Singapore High Commission in New Delhi informing him that his passport has been found. 

The catch? His passport was in Unchahar — some 11 hours away by train, or about nine hours drive away from New Delhi. 

Unable to travel to Unchahar, Maniam asked the sheriff, Manoj, if his passport could be mailed to Delhi. 

To his pleasant surprise, the sheriff replied: "We don't normally do this, because we need people present. But because you're a guest in our country, and this is a very important document, I'm making an exception. I'll send a man on the sleeper train with your passport." 

While the policeman from Unchahar made his way down to Delhi, Maniam shared that Atul was helping him get the rest of his travel documents in order. 

Maniam eventually retrieved his passport from the police officer at the Old Delhi railway station — even gamely posing with the latter, award-ceremony style. 

"With my passport in hand, I realised that no matter where you are, especially if you're in India; there will always be people, good people who wanna help you out and will have your back." 

Maniam's video received many praises from netizens who enjoyed listening to his story. Some also remarked that he was lucky to be able to get his passport back. 

"You are so lucky how come you always have such crazy stories," said one netizen. 

Replying to the comment, Maniam wrote: "I just screw up a lot." 

Several others also poked fun at how he posed with the Indian police officer with his passport. 

AsiaOne has reached out to Maniam for comment.

What to do if you lose your passport overseas

If you ever misplace your passport overseas, here are some tips on what to do: 

1. Contact the Embassy or High Commission 

This should be your first step if you ever lose your passport, as they are the only ones who can issue a Document of Identity that will allow you to leave the country and re-enter Singapore

You will be asked to provide several documents before your Document of Identity can be issued, such as your IC, two or three passport photos, a police report and flight itinerary.

2. Lodge a police report 

A police report will serve as proof that you have misplaced your passport. 

Do take note that in some countries, the police might be unwilling to issue a report. In this case, ask for some sort of receipt or acknowledgement slip that proves you were there.

3. Contact your travel insurer 

Some travel insurance policies offer coverage for the loss of passport or other belongings. 

Depending on your plan, you might be able to recoup the costs incurred while dealing with your lost passport.

This might include travel expenses and hotel accommodation incurred while trying to get to the embassy, the cost of a new ticket if you are forced to miss a flight, as well as the cost of replacing your passport.

ALSO READ: Woman collects her new passport after 7-week wait, only to find it expires soon


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