Written by Staff Writer
09 May, 2014 | 1:45 pm
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An IT student in New Zealand will get to keep more than NZ$88,000 of money he found in an Australian toilet. Chamindu Amarsinghe told the Herald Sun he was speechless to hear he will get the majority of the A$100,000 (NZ$108,000) he uncovered at Channel 9’s Docklands headquarters, after it went unclaimed.
Amarsinghe was working as a janitor in August 2011 when he found a sanitary bin full of A$100 notes. “There was too much to count – I thought someone was playing a prank on me.
“But when I touched the notes – all yellow and green – I realised it was real money,” he told the Herald-Sun.
Rather than pocketing the cash himself, he called his supervisor and soon police and a plumber were pulling the money from the bathroom – A$1200 of it retrieved from the pipes.
Police were never able to establish the origin of the cash, and no-one ever came forward to claim it.And so this week, the cleaner-turned-fast food worker, who’s now studying IT in New Zealand, was rewarded for his honesty.
On Tuesday, magistrate Michael Smith ordered A$81,597 (NZ$88,431) should go to Amarsinghe, the Herald-Sun reported.
“There’s no reason why such honesty should go unrewarded,” he said.
Detective Senior Constable Daniel Thorne, who investigated the case, agreed.
“All the guys in the office felt the same. He’s a struggling student who straight-up didn’t even think of pocketing it,” Thorne told the paper. It was the second good piece of news Amarsinghe had this week after learning he had been granted permanent residency in Australia.
“I just want to spend my life in a normal way, find a job in IT and carry out that dream,” he said.
The money, he said, was a blessing. While he didn’t know how he would spend it all, some would go to helping disabled people and some to a Buddhist temple in Berwick, Victoria.
“I’m really, really lucky. I’m not going to waste it,” he said.
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