Joseph Akilo, an Airport guard attached to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, reportedly returned the sum of $3,338 (about N1, 218,370) which a passenger on Virgin Atlantic Airways flight had lost.
The money belonging to one Frank Abebemi was in two separate envelopes, and left behind as he was going through profiling at the Airline’s counter.
However, Akilo who works with Aviation Logistics and Management Limited (ALML) and earns a monthly salary of N25,000 discovered the envelopes when he was clearing the check-in counters of the Airline after the closure of boarding at around 8:35 am, according to Sahara Reporters.
SR reports that one of the envelopes contained $3,000 while the second envelope had $338 in it. The second envelope contained the details of the owner of the money such as the photocopy of his air ticket, names and other relevant information which helped in locating the traveler.
Akilo quickly contacted the Station Manager of Virgin Atlantic Airways, one Gloria who checked the details on the flight system of the airline and discovered that the owner was one of the passengers on-board for departure while the aircraft was already taxiing for take-off.
Gloria immediately contacted the pilot who had to abort the flight and return the aircraft to the apron. The pilot was said to have called out the name of the passenger through the cockpit address system.
Upon inquiry from the passenger, Abenemi insisted he didn’t lose any money, but when he was asked about two envelopes with some dollars, he immediately checked his hand luggage, but could not find the money there. It was then it dawned on him that he had misplaced the two envelopes.
After confirming the loss of the envelopes, Abenemi was probed on the exact amount of money in each of them and after answering correctly, the envelopes were returned to him. Narrating details of the incident, a source said:
“The routine is that whenever boarding is closed, the security officials are expected to close the counters and return them to offices of airlines, but yesterday while Joseph was doing this, he came across two envelopes on the ground and when he opened it, he discovered they contained United States dollars with few details of the passenger. One of the envelopes contained $3,000 while the other was $338.
“Without telling anyone as some of the workers there might want to convince him not to report it, he secretly took the envelopes to the Station Manager of Virgin Atlantic (Gloria) who also checked the details of the passenger and discovered he was on-board the flight with his seat number.
“But, at first, the passenger insisted he didn’t lose any money. However, when he was asked if he had any money in envelopes, it was then he checked his hand luggage, but could not find the sum. After he was asked series of questions in the presence of security officials, they discovered that the money belonged to him and the envelopes were handed over back to him.”