LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Syrian Refugee Finds $55,000 Cash, Turns It In To German Police

Muhannad M. stands to get a reward of less than $5,000, after turning in some $150,000 in cash and bank documents that he found in a used piece of furniture.

The windfall must have seemed heaven-sent. How else to explain a young man who had fled Syria's violence and reached Germany — where he realized the donated wardrobe he'd been given contained 50,000 euros (around $55,000) in cash?

But instead of keeping it, the man contacted the immigration office to ask about turning the money in. And so, eight months after he entered Germany as a refugee from Homs, Syria, the man is being praised as a hero by local police for his honesty.

The man, identified by German media as Muhannad M., was given the wardrobe to help furnish his apartment in Minden, a city west of Hanover. As he cleaned and reassembled the pieces, he found a wide storage pouch hidden beneath a lower shelf. In it: a hundred 500-euro notes, along with bank passbooks to accounts holding an additional 100,000 euros (around $110,000).

Before he could decide what to do with the money, Muhannad, 25, first had to check whether the 500-euro notes were real. A check online revealed that they were.

The money could have helped Muhannad get his two younger brothers out of Syria and into a new life in Germany. But he tells Germany's Bild newspaper that he couldn't do that.

"I am a Muslim. I'm not allowed to keep this money. My religion forbids it," he said, in a translation by news site The Local. "Allah would never allow me to finance my own interests with someone else's wealth."

Muhannad stands to get a reward of 3 percent of the total amount of his discovery – around $4,500. The police in Minden say they're trying to track down the wardrobe's former owner.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)