Good Samaritan returns $1,190 found at ATM machine, draws praise from netizens and minister

Mr Laudi Heryasin, 33,  has drawn praise from netizens and a minister after finding $1,190 at an automated teller machine (ATM) and going out of his way to return it.
Mr Laudi Heryasin, 33, has drawn praise from netizens and a minister after finding $1,190 at an automated teller machine (ATM) and going out of his way to return it.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A good Samaritan has drawn praise from netizens and a minister after finding $1,190 at an automated teller machine (ATM) and going out of his way to return it.

Mr Laudi Heryasin, 33, wrote about the incident in a post on the Facebook group JB TRACER: Johor Bahru Traffic, Crime & Community Service Report on Monday (Oct 9).

The infocommunications specialist at Iras told The Straits Times he was queueing at an ATM machine at Woodlands Town Centre at about 7.20pm, when the person before him rushed away from the machine without taking the money he had withdrawn - a sum of $1,190 in cash.

"This is the first time I've seen money left like this. I was surprised as the ATM machine kept beeping and that was when I saw the money in the tray."

By the time he realised what had happened, the person was already gone, said Mr Laudi.

He took the money and the receipt and waited for about 10 to 15 minutes for the guy to return but he did not show up.

Mr Laudi called POSB to report the cash found and was advised to go to any POSB branch the next day.

When asked if he was tempted to keep the money at any point, Mr Laudi said it was a definite "no".

"I took it as I was afraid someone else would take and keep the money for themselves. I wanted to return it and knew that I had a responsibility to return it."

He said that if he had been in that position, he too would hope for an "honest person" to return him his money.

"Plus, it's not a small sum. But any amount, no matter if $10 or $20, should always be returned."

Mr Laudi said he had gone to the POSB Marsiling branch at about 1.30pm on Tuesday and gave both the money and the receipt to the bank. He was later informed by the bank over the phone that the money had been credited back to the owner's account.

"So my job here is done. Glad can help other people," he wrote in an update on his Facebook post.

In response to queries from ST, a DBS spokesman confirmed that the rightful owner of the money has been informed that the sum was transferred to his account.

"We would like to commend the gentleman who returned the sum of money to our branch," said the spokesman.

"We advise all our customers to be careful and always remember to collect their cash when making their ATM withdrawals."

Uncollected cash at ATMs will be retracted within a specified amount of time and the amount will be refunded to the customers' accounts accordingly, the spokesman said, adding that the bank has in place a refund process for uncollected cash returned at its branches.

Mr Laudi's actions have drawn the praise of netizens who applauded his honesty and his going out of his way to get the money back to its owner.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Oct 11) afternoon, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu commended Mr Laudi's actions.

"It's heart-warming to know that we have honest and kind people like Mr Laudi who went out of his way to help a stranger. So thank you, Laudi, for your generous act."

Mr Laudi said he was "very honoured" to be praised by a minister like that but did not think too much of what he did.

"I think that what I did is something anyone can do," he said. "It's not something special."