Fil-Am Driver Returns $300K Left in Taxi
In a place popularly called ‘Sin City’, Good Samaritans still exist.
Filipino-American taxi driver Gerardo Gamboa is one of them. After finding a paper bag full of cash, he promptly returned it to his employer. Gamboa, 54, who hails from Mabalacat, Pampanga but now lives in the US state of Nevada, handed the $300,000 (about P12.6 million) to the Yellow Checker Star cab company.
Gamboa picked a passenger at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas who gave him a $5 tip but inadvertently left behind the paper bag full of money. The taxi driver subsequently dropped off the passenger at Palm Place Hotel after a 5-minute, 2-mile ride.
When Gamboa parked at Bellagio Hotel’s taxi stand, the hotel’s doorman, who hailed Gamboa’s taxi, told him “There is a bag in (your taxi) full of chocolate.” After Gamboa checked the bag, he was stunned to discover it contained wads of $100 bills totaling the US$0.3 million. An apologetic Gamboa then told his passenger, “You are my witness. I did not touch anything here.”
Gamboa then turned over the amount to his company’s headquarters, where money was counted and audited in front of taxi company officials and later locked in the lost-and-found safety vault. Hours later, the money’s owner who turned out to be a professional poker player who did not want to be identified showed up to claim the lost cash and thanked Gamboa.
The taxi driver expressed desire to prove that Filipinos are hardworking, industrious and honest. As recognition of his honesty, Gamboa was cited by his company as ‘Driver of the Year’ and presented a $1,000 reward plus dinner for two at a Las Vegas hotel.