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Security officer returns Sh2.3 million lost cash

The owner of the bag was driven to tears, saying he lost the bag in a place without CCTV cameras

Police constable Ann Wanjiku Waigwa

A UK national, Benson Nickolson, is forever grateful to security officials at Wilson Airport in Nairobi after recovering Sh2.3 million in US dollars, which got lost in a bag containing other valuables.

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Nicholson, who visited the country sometime in late October, said he felt frustrated after losing the bag, later recovered by police constable Ann Wanjiku Waigwa.

Wanjiku collected the bag and informed the security bosses at the airport, who tried contacting the owner through the contact information found in the bag.

The tourist arrived in Kenya with his family for a three-week vacation and visited various animal conservancies and game parks within Kenya and Tanzania.

They travelled by road, SGR and Air interchangeably and used various facilities, including Mombasa Airport, Kenyatta Airport, Malindi Airport, Wilson, SGR, Maasai Mara, and Serengeti, among others.

After having a good time in Maasai Mara, Benson landed at Wilson Airport and headed to the hotel to prepare for the following day’s trip to the coast.

Benson was the keeper of the cash his family was using, and thus when he couldn’t find the bag containing the money, he was confused.

I noticed one of my bags was missing. Coincidentally, it was the bag carrying our cash, valuables and cards. I immediately called our rider, who had been with us for more than one week,” Benson recalled.

He checked both vans but could not find the bag. I panicked and asked him to go straight to the airport as I took a cab from the hotel to the airport also. On my way, I called the airline to check if it was left on the plane,” the tourist added.

He asked the airline staff to check the CCTV at the airport but was shocked to be told that the airport does not have CCTV.

At this stage, I developed temporal insanity as it appeared we had no hopes of recovering the bags,” Benson said.

While in traffic around Kenyatta hospital, he received a call from Wilson Airport security alerting him they had his bag. Benson was surprised to find all the contents inside his bag intact and praised the security officer who recovered his valuables.

Without any CCTV, I could not comprehend how my bag, with such valuable items, could still be found and that the owner was called to collect it. My brother lost a tenth of that in South Africa, where they have a robust CCTV but could get anything,” he said.

The kind gesture drove the tourist to tears as he celebrated with his family.

Therefore, it is not about systems, it is the human factor, the people, the staff who are the greatest asset. I had no recourse, that was my negligence, but I still got all my stuff and money. My brother arrived from the hotel and I confirmed with tears of joy and shock,” he recalled.

The tourist vowed to spread this good news all over the world, and affirm Kenya as the destination of choice for tourism.

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