Grab driver returns wallet to sailor of US aircraft carrier

July 10, 2023 | 04:00 am PT
Đà NẵngA GrabCar driver returned a wallet left by a U.S. Navy sailor in his car.
Pham Van Trinh, Grabcar driver. Photo by Nguyen Dong

Pham Van Trinh, Grabcar driver-partner. Photo by Nguyen Dong

On June 29 evening, Phan Van Trinh, 36, received a foreign passenger's ride booking from a hotel on Nguyen Van Linh Street to the parking lot next to the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Hai Chau District, Da Nang.

The next morning, he found a black wallet left by passenger. He suspected that it belonged to a foreign passenger, as it contained a U.S. military card. It was placed in the back seat storage organizer. Though Trinh picked up six additional rides after that, the wallet was not misplaced.

After reporting the incident to the Grab Help Center, Trinh immediately drove to the hotel which was a drop-off location to ask for information, but the U.S. passenger had already checked out.

He had no idea the military card inside the wallet belonged to the crew of a U.S. aircraft carrier at the time. He merely wanted to get back to the hotel because the hotel indicated the visitor was at Tien Sa port and was about to leave Da Nang.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and two cruisers, USS Antietam (CG-54) and USS Robert Smalls (CG-62) concluded their 5-day visit to Da Nang City on June 30.

While driving to the port, Trinh picked up a passenger and explained that he was seeking someone to return the wallet.

The passenger suspected that the individual who misplaced his wallet was associated with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. This person urged him to contact the U.S. Embassy because even if he got to the port, he would not be able to enter the carrier, and "the U.S. Navy group of more than 5,000 people is very difficult to find."

That afternoon, Trinh finally returned all of the property he had picked up, including a military card, two bank cards, and more than VND1.1 million, to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam in the presence of Vietnamese leaders abroad, the Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs, and Grab representatives.

"The U.S. Navy attaché gave me a coin." "It was a lovely gift," he stated.

Trinh with the U.S. Navy attachés coin. Photo by Nguyen Dong

Trinh with the U.S. Navy attaché's coin. Photo by Nguyen Dong

Trinh moved from Binh Dinh to HCMC ten years ago to pursue employment at a garment factory. Later, he was assigned to a new company's branch in Da Nang as manager. Trinh and his wife opted to reside in Da Nang after they married because of the fresh air and less hectic lifestyle.

In 2019, he quit his job at the garment company to have more time with his wife and newborn child.

Trinh bought a car at the end of June 2020, when the pandemic was under control and has been a Grab driver since then.

This is not Trinh's first time returning a passenger's property. He once found and returned a wallet and an iPhone 14 to a passenger.

"If I pick up passengers at home, I will immediately return their property to their address in case they forgot," he stated.

He also frequently interacts and chats with the passengers during the trip in order to remember their faces. In case the customer forgot anything, he was able to return it more quickly.

Grab representative (L) presents certificates of merit and honor cups to Pham Van Trinh (R). Photo by Quynh Nhu

Grab representative (L) presents certificates of merit and honor cups to Pham Van Trinh (R). Photo by Quynh Nhu

Grab rewarded Trinh with a certificate of merit and the prize "Honor the superstar Grab driver-partner" for his humanitarian gesture. The company also encourages other driver-partners to continue spreading positive deeds in society.

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