Imagine this: A nasty civil war has been raging in your country for the last 5 years, your city has been under siege and constant bombardment, you’ve managed to get out and arrive in a foreign country where you know no one and can’t even speak the language. You left behind those who are still alive from your family. You’ve been surviving on donations and small jobs for the last 9 months and now you find $150,000 stashed in a piece of used furniture you bought. What would you do?
This is exactly what happened to a 25 years old Syria refugee who arrived in Germany in October 2015. Muhannad is from the city of Homs or more accurately the ‘Hell of Homs’. Homs is a stronghold for rebels against the Assad regime and has been the scene of massacres and bombings since 2012.
Today only about 200,000 people are left in the city after over one million people fled or died. Muhannad escaped Syria via Turkey and Greece to Germany. Recently his asylum procedure has been completed. He is recognized as a refugee and had just moved into a small apartment in Minden, Germany. While cleaning a used wardrobe he bought second hand he noticed two boards of wood had been screwed together.
Photo: Minden Police
Looking closer he notices some paper is stuck inside. He breaks the bolts abd discovers a treasure: five savings books worth over 100 000 euro and 50 000 euros in cash. “These were all new 500-euro bills. I thought it was counterfeit money” he told German newspaper Bild. On the Internet, he researched how to recognize fake money and found out: the money is genuine. He would just have to keep quiet and he would have been rich. But for Muhannad this was out of question. He grabbed the cash and the savings books and went to the immigration office.
Photo: Minden Police
This money would have allowed him to save his family from the war and bring them to Germany. But he told the newspaper “I am a Muslim. I’m not allowed to keep this money. My religion forbids it. Allah would never allow me to finance my own interests with someone else’s wealth.”
German police have began to looking for the owner of the wardrobe. “It sometimes happens that small amounts of money are turned in. But such an amount is an exception. This young man has acted in an exemplary way and deserves great respect”.
Muhannad will get a reward of around 4500 Euro (three per cent finder fee). However, it is possible that this amount will be offset against the payment of the Job Centers.