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Video: Hope springs for UAE expat from India who tossed cash in trash

Gulf News logo Gulf News 15/07/2019 Mazhar Farooqui, Features Editor - Special Reports
a person in a newspaper: NAT-190714-WAHAB88-(Read-Only) © Provided by Gulf News NAT-190714-WAHAB88-(Read-Only)

Dubai: The Indian restaurant manager who accidentally binned over Dh100,000 is headed home, thanks to scores of readers who stepped forward to help following a Gulf News report describing the man’s plight.

Abdul Wahab’s life had been a wreck since March 2015 when he subconsciously threw Dh105,439 belonging to his company in a roadside dumpster in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area.

The careless act triggered a series of catastrophic events which saw Wahab losing not just his job but also the roof over his head.

His landlord evicted him for unpaid rents and the bank and the car rental company filed cases against him for defaulting on payments.

With nowhere to go, Wahab roughed it out in a friend’s car for three months during which he survived on instant noodles which he would buy from a grocery and prepare in hot water from a cafeteria.

But the worst was yet to come. Between 2017 and 2018, Wahab was arrested twice and spent seven months in jail for payment default and bounced cheque cases while his passport remained stuck in court.

Stranded and penniless, Wahab was a picture of despair until recently. But that’s not the case now. Since the July 7 Gulf News report, his life has taken a dramatic turn with several readers reaching out to him, offering not just money but also moral support and legal assistance.

“My phone has not stopped ringing. I am stunned by the overwhelming response and have no words to thank all those who have come to my aid,” said the 37-year-old in a voice choked with emotion.

The way people opened their hearts and purse strings for me is incredible. I have got Dh82,400 because of their collective efforts.

- Abdul Wahab, Indian restaurant manager

“The way people opened their hearts and purse strings for me is incredible. I have got Dh82,400 because of their collective efforts. UAE is a country that truly cares and the help extended to me by people from various nationalities have once again reinforced that fact and restored my faith in humanity,” he added.

On Sunday, Wahab handed the entire amount (Dh82,400) to his ex-employer, who then issued a case withdrawal letter, paving the way for his return to India.

“An Emirati man called me and volunteered to talk to my ex-employers. The Good Samaritan even accompanied me to my former office and negotiated with the company to accept whatever money I have collected. Fortunately, they agreed and issued me a letter stating they are withdrawing the court case against me. Now I just need to submit this letter in Dubai Courts and pay Dh5,100 in court charges to get back my passport,” Wahab told Gulf News.

“I have paid dearly for my carelessness. Now I want to put my past behind me and start life afresh. But first I want to go to my hometown Hyderabad and meet my ageing parents whom I haven’t seen for seven years, I can’t wait to get my passport back. Four years ago, my life changed in a matter of days. Now, it has changed again, but for the better,” he added.

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