Rightful claimant of $3k left in eatery passed 3 tests
THE $3,000 in cash found by a waitress in a restaurant late last month has been returned to its owner on Saturday, but only after the owner's wife passed three tests to prove that the money was theirs.
She also had to "beat" more than six people who called up the eatery claiming to be the rightful owner of the money.
She was the only one who insisted that the cash was not placed in an envelope, unlike what was reported in the papers - and this was what convinced the restaurant that she was the real deal.
Last Wednesday, a report by Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao quoted A-One Claypot House as saying that the money was in an envelope when it was found under a table in its Causeway Point outlet. My Paper ran the story on Thursday.
It turned out that the restaurant had deliberately provided this false detail in order to sift out phoney claimants, said Wanbao yesterday.
Over the next few days, the eatery received more than six calls concerning the money. These were apparently all bogus claims, said outlet manager Alex Woo, who encountered a caller who claimed to represent the rightful owner.
"The caller said his friend was a Caucasian from Australia. But I knew from the CCTV (closed-circuit television) video that the owner was ethnic Chinese. That immediately gave the person away," Mr Woo told Wanbao.
Other callers would zealously describe the colour and size of the non-existing envelope when asked to elaborate, said the manager.
But when they were asked to go to the restaurant in person, all of them refused to turn up, added Mr Woo.
Only Ms Foo - the wife of the real owner who is identified only by his surname Woon - insisted that the money was not placed in an envelope when she called up the outlet, said Wanbao.
Ms Foo was also ready to turn up to answer more questions.
Other than the "envelope" test, the outlet verified Ms Foo's claim by reviewing the CCTV footage from the night of Sept 27, when she and her family went there to dine.
The housewife produced the receipt from the visit and was also able to say - correctly - where they sat.
According to Ms Foo, they visited the outlet after Mr Woon withdrew the money from a bank, which was meant to be the family's expenditure for this month.
"He has a habit of simply shoving money into his pockets," Ms Foo told Wanbao.
She made the claim on behalf of Mr Woon as he was in Indonesia for business.
He discovered the loss only the following day when he was about to leave for Indonesia, she said. But he did not tell her about it and disclosed it only to a friend for fear that she would nag at him, added Ms Foo.
It was the friend who alerted him to the story in Wanbao.
Ms Foo went to the outlet on Saturday with a flower basket, which she presented to Wu Jirong - the 37-year-old waitress from China who found the cash - as a token of her gratitude.
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