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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Qatar businessman becomes a millionaire by mistake


By Doha News team

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Omar Chatriwala/Doha News

A Qatar-based businessman became a momentary millionaire when more than QR1.5 million was accidentally credited to his bank account.

But rather than go on a shopping spree with his new-found wealth, Michael Asemota immediately alerted his bank about the mistake and returned the money.

Asemota, who runs his own cleaning and hospitality contracting company, said he did not even think about keeping the cash “for a minute.”

Michael Asemota. Credit: Supplied

“I’m not a rich man — I need money for my family,” the 37-year-old Nigerian expat told Doha News.

“But I didn’t have to think twice about being honest about the mistake. It wasn’t mine — I had to tell the bank that.”

Wrong amount

The issue began after Asemota opened an account last month with a Qatar bank that he declined to name.

There, he deposited a check for QR150,200 from a company client, according to the Qatar Tribune, which first reported the story.

He then received a text message from his bank saying his account had been credited QR1,502,000 — ten times the amount he deposited.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: RikkisRefuge Other / Flickr

He immediately went to the bank and told the branch customer services manager that there had been a mistake.

However, the official replied: “That’s what your account says,” Asemota told Doha News.

It was only when he then asked to see the manager and explained again the situation that the bank realized its mistake.

An extra “0” had been added when the check was processed, he said.

“The manager was shocked. He shook my hand and said ‘thank you, thank you,’” Asemota added.

Raised right

Speaking about his honesty during the incident, the businessman said his instinct had been to confess to the mistake immediately.

“It never occurred to me to just take the cash. I didn’t have to think twice about it.

It wasn’t my money and I couldn’t just take someone else’s money. I wasn’t brought up that way. It’s who I am,” he added.


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