Cleaner may lose out after finding gold in a bin

24th of May 2018
Cleaner may lose out after finding gold in a bin

A South Korean cleaner may miss out on a fortune in gold after an unexpected find in a rubbish bin, it's been reported.

According to The Korea Times, a cleaner found seven gold bars worth a total €274,000 whilst emptying a rubbish bin at Incheon International Airport last month.

The bars, each weighing 1kg, were wrapped in newspapers, and police suspect their original owner threw them away in a hurry because he risked being caught. There is currently no proof that the gold is connected to criminal activity.

It was originally thought the cleaner, who has not been named by the media, would be able to make a substantial claim on the goods. But the airport has said the cleaner won't be able to receive any reward because they were "working as airport staff and it is a part of the cleaner's job to find lost things".

South Korea operates a "finders keepers" law on goods that are recovered when there is no known owner.

According to its Lost Articles Act legislation, if an owner doesn't come forward to claim found property within six months, the finder will be able to take ownership. However, this doesn't apply to employees on company property.

Ironically, if the finder had not been an airport employee, they would have been eligible to claim between five and 20 per cent of the gold's total price, a maximum of almost €55,000 under the law.

It's not clear who will take ownership of the gold at the end of the six month waiting period.



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