The Time Dubai Airport Found a $150,000 Diamond Ring in the Trash and Returned It

Sep 11, 2018

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It’s not unusual to find loose change or even a lost cell phone in the bathroom on a plane after a flight, but it’s hard to top a $150,000 diamond ring in the trash.

That’s exactly what the police at Dubai Airport say they found in one of the airport’s most memorable lost-and-found cases, and the story even gets a happy ending, because the woman who lost the ring got it back.

The unlucky (or incredibly lucky) passenger had come off an Emirates plane from Bangkok (BKK) and was due to catch a flight to Nice (NCE) on March 20, 2014, when she realized her ring was missing. As a business-class passengers, one of the amenities she received was a small pouch. She decided to put the ring in it temporarily, but accidentally left it behind when she disembarked.

“This kind of pouch usually isn’t handed to the lost-and-found office because it belongs to Emirates,” an airport police spokesman said in an email. “The cleaner on the plane disposed of the pouch in the garbage, thinking it was of no use anymore.”

By the time the passenger realized what she’d left in the discarded pouch, the ring was already in a trash bin somewhere.

“She had lost hope and didn’t think she would ever have her ring back,” police said.

But as soon as she filed a claim with lost and found, they contacted the cleaning department and police. Meanwhile, the passenger had to leave for her connecting flight to France immediately.

“Dubai police staff went to the plane, then to the garbage area, and started searching with the help of the cleaners and their supervisor,” the police spokesman said.

They found the pouch and the ring and ran over to the police checkpoint nearest the gate with the flight to Nice. They stopped the passenger and gave her back her ring before she caught her plane to Europe.

“She was very happy and amazed,” the spokesman said.

Dubai airport has returned other memorable items to their owners through the years, he added.

“Due to the huge number of passengers traveling through Dubai Airport, people often lose their belongings, varying from expensive items to cheap ones to those that carry sentimental value,” he said.

Other pricey finds reunited with owners include: 10 ounces of gold, 334,000 UAE dirhams in cash (about $91,000), and an even more expensive bespoke diamond ring by celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz worth $500,000.

Featured image (of Meghan Markle’s wedding ring) by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

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