Taxi driver demands HK$1,000 to return lost phone left by Hong Kong woman

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12th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) A taxi driver reportedly found an iPhone left behind by a female passenger. The passenger offered a modest reward of HK$500, but the driver insisted on a staggering HK$1,000 before returning the phone. The situation escalated when the passenger threatened to report the incident to the police, to which the driver defiantly responded, “What are you going to do, call the police?” The passenger, determined to resolve the matter, firmly asked, “So, will you accept HK$500 now?” Eventually, the driver reluctantly accepted the HK$500, mockingly remarking, “You’re really a beggar,” before urging the passenger to leave.

The 41-second video, which has sparked heated discussions among netizens, captures the exchange between the female passenger and the driver. The driver can be heard saying, “It’s not mine to begin with. The fourth passenger left it behind. You’re really lucky.” In response, the passenger handed him HK$500, stating, “Here’s the HK$500 reward.” However, the driver deemed it insufficient and bargained, “At least HK$1,000, boss.”

Upon hearing this, the passenger threatened to report the incident to the police, but the driver retorted, “What are you afraid of? I’m just trying to make a living, boss!” Undeterred, the passenger firmly asked, “So, will you accept HK$500 now?” The driver replied with a condescending tone, saying, “Well, you’re really a beggar.” He then accepted the HK$500 and hurriedly told the passenger to leave, saying, “Go on, don’t hinder me. Just leave!”

Netizens have been actively discussing the video, with many criticising the driver’s behaviour. Comments such as “He shouldn’t have accepted the HK$500,” “Report the incident, let the authorities handle it,” and “While it’s understandable to request reimbursement for time and fuel, where does the HK$1,000 come from? The lost item should be handled by the appropriate authorities” have emerged. Some argued that “One should empathise with others. Even those who earn a living need money for fuel and time.”

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the video had actually circulated back in 2018 but recently resurfaced due to renewed interest from netizens. According to a friend of the female passenger, she had taken the taxi to Wan Chai in the morning around 9am and realised she had left her phone behind as soon as she got out of the vehicle. She immediately sent a text message to her own phone. The passenger received a prompt call from the driver, but his attitude on the phone was remarkably rude. He complained that HK$500 was too little and demanded a minimum of HK$1,000. Feeling anxious to retrieve her phone, the passenger reluctantly agreed, reported the incident to the police as a precautionary measure, and urged the driver to return the phone as soon as possible, stating, “At that moment, she already felt uncomfortable, as if being extorted. That’s why she filed a report.”

According to the passenger’s friend, the police advised that if the driver refused to accept the “reasonable amount” offered by the passenger, she could request immediate police assistance. Around 1pm on the same day, she accompanied the passenger to meet the driver. Once again, the driver complained that HK$500 was insufficient. However, knowing that she was recording the incident, he likely refrained from causing further trouble and ultimately accepted the HK$500 before leaving on his own.