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Old 14-05-14, 10:14   #1
 
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Red Arrow Honest Janitor Gets to Keep $80,000 He Found in Toilet Stall


Chamindu Amarsinghe


Sometimes it pays to do the right thing.

In August of 2011, a young janitor stumbled upon a small fortune in a toilet stall's sanitary bin.

Chamindu Amarsinghe, a New Zealand student who worked as a corporate cleaner at a TV company building in Sydney, Australia, found the bin packed with A$50 and A$100 bills.

"There was too much to count. I thought someone was playing a prank on me. But when I touched the notes...I realized it was real money," Amarsinghe told the Herald Sun.

He said the thought of keeping the money never occurred to him.

"I just thought, 'That's not my money, so I can't take it away. I don't know what the hell this money is doing here.'"

He also admitted to being afraid of the cash.

"Someone could have put it there and planned to come back for it. I didn't want them to come back for it and find it gone and them come after me," he said.

Amarsinghe immediately called his supervisor.

Police and plumbers worked together to remove more than A$100,000 ($102,206 CAD) from the stall including almost A$1,300 ($1,330 CAD) from the piping.
No one came forward to claim the cash. Investigators dropped charges against one suspect in the case of the missing money, and nothing else came of their investigation.

This week, nearly three years after finding the stash of cash, Amarsinghe received a phone call: Most of the money is now his.

Melbourne magistrate Michael Smith ruled that A$81,597 ($83,397 CAD) of the money Amarsinghe found is his to keep. The rest will go to the state.

"There's no reason why such honesty shouldn't go unrewarded," Smith said.

"All the guys in the office felt the same. Hes a struggling student who straight-up didn't even think of pocketing it," said Detective Senior Constable Daniel Thorne, who investigated the case.

Amarsinghe, who is studying IT in New Zealand, plans to give some of the unexpected windfall to his family, some to charity, and some to a Buddhist temple in Berkwick, Australia.

"I'm really, really lucky," he told the Herald Sun. "I'm not going to waste it."
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