Kim Yeong-geun, 67, a safety guard at Gaebeop 2nd Hanshin Apartment complex in Busan, said in an interview on Friday, “I did what I had to do. I did not expect it to attract this much attention. One cup noodle would have been more than enough,” after it made the headlines during Lunar New Year holidays that he found 10 million won in an abandoned bag and returned it to the rightful owner living in the complex.
Patrolling the apartment complex around 7 p.m. last Friday, he discovered a bath bag dropped off around the main gate of the complex. Upon opening it up to figure out whose bag it is, Kim’s jaw dropped because there were a bunch of 10,000-won and 50,000-won bills mixed with gift certificates in the bag.
He rushed to Deokpo police station nearby to report the lost bag. The police checked that the money inside the bag totaled 16.32 million won. Right after the police called a phone number of the owner found in the bag, the owner ran to the police station in panic, being relieved to get the money back. It was confirmed that the owner of the bag is one of the residents of the apartment complex where Kim works.
The police informed the owner and the safety guard of a rule that a person who finds and returns lost cash to the rightful owner may be able to receive up to 20 percent of the total sum in return. Although the owner wanted to return the favor, Kim declined the offer, saying, “It is one of my job duties as a security guard to get a resident’s lost item returned. I do not feel it proper to receive a reward.”
Returning home, the owner of the bag thought about expressing thanks to Kim. The person went back to the safety guard with 20 boxes of cup noodles. Kim shared 120 cup noodles with his colleagues.
The apartment complex’s resident community association was held to deliver Kim a plaque of appreciation and a prize.
“I only do my job. It makes me embarrassed and taken aback because many people are paying attention and commending my act. I appreciate their support,” Kim said. “We all are having a hard time getting by. Merely having such a warm-hearted man nearby makes me feel cheered up and energized,” said a resident.