By Bejay Browne
A PAPHOS teenager who found a briefcase containing around €10,000 which had been left in a café toilet by a local businessman, immediately alerted police and the venue manager.
The 17-year-old student, Joshua Ioakim, who attends Emba high school in Paphos has been congratulated for his actions and honesty by police, the businessman and the coffee shop manager. The incident happened on Thursday.
On Friday, the teenage boy told the Cyprus Mail that he hadn’t been tempted to keep the money and that the thought hadn’t crossed his mind.
“It takes people a long time to earn that kind of money and they work hard to get it. My parents are hard workers and I’ve been raised by them to respect that. I help out with my father’s work, including teaching first aid, as much as I can during the holidays. I would never not want to hand the money back or even take a penny of it,” he said.
Joshua said he had been dropped off at the café in Paphos on Thursday, as usual, to study on his own. At around 3.30pm he went to the toilet and on his way back noticed that a small briefcase had been left there. He realised that someone had lost it and opened it to see if there was any ID inside.
“There was ID and also a pile of organised money. There was about €10,000, it was labelled.”
The teenager immediately called the police to report it and then found the store manager to inform him what had happened.
“He said that informing the police was the right thing to do, but added that from the ID inside, he knew the guy it belonged to, as he was a regular customer and that he had an office close by.”
The pair went to find him and reunite him with his money. The businessman was hugely relieved to get his case back and congratulated Joshua on his honesty, he said.
‘He was over the moon to get his money back and has invited me to join him for a coffee next week to get to know each other better. He’s a really nice man.”
Later on, the teenager attended Paphos police station to make a statement about the incident.
Paphos police spokesman Nicos Tsappis said: “Yesterday a call was made to inform the police that a bag containing a large amount of money had been found. The 17-year-old took an action to hand it back to the owner directly. Paphos police pass on our congratulations for his honesty, morals and character.”
Joshua added: “It felt good to do the right thing and I would do the same again. It’s a shame that not everyone is like that now, the economic crisis has meant that many people will take what they can. But somebody had lost this and it wasn’t mine to take.”