Liberia: Boy who returned $50,000 as “Integrity Ambassador”

#other countries : A Liberian teen who collected US$50,000 and then returned the money to his boss has been named an “ambassador of integrity” for this impoverished West African country and awarded a monthly salary by President George V.

The story of Emmanuel Tullo, who drives a motorcycle taxi for a living, receives widespread media coverage for his civil act in Liberia, where nearly half the population lives in extreme poverty.

He told AFP on Friday he was on a motorcycle when he fell on a plastic bag filled with $50,000 worth of money in the country’s northeast on October 10.

To the surprise of his friends, the 19-year-old returned the money to his boss, a businessman, the next day after sending a message over the radio.

“My friends used to tell me that I’m too stupid and I’ll never be rich in my life,” Tulow said. “My parents didn’t teach me how to steal, so I decided to give back money that doesn’t belong to me.”

Former football star Jorge Weh, the President of Liberia, invited Emmanuel Tulo to an audience at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Monrovia earlier this week, offering him a $10,000 reward for his honesty.

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Weah, 55, offered the teen a scholarship to master’s level, appointed him an “ambassador of integrity” for Liberia and paid him a monthly salary of $500.

“I don’t think I’ll be as poor as my friends predicted,” Tullo told AFP. He told that his dream is to become a doctor or nurse. “I encourage all my friends not to take what is not theirs,” he said.

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Liberia, a poor country of five million people, is still recovering from the continuing civil wars of 1989–2003 and the 2014–2016 Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The country also suffers from high inflation and persistent liquidity crunch. According to the World Bank, 44% of Liberia’s population lives on less than $1.9 a day.

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