Gold bars isolated on white background

A janitor in South Korea may get to keep seven bars of gold that he found in a garbage bin in Incheon International Airport, according to a South China Morning Post article. The gold bars are worth 350 million won (US$327,000).

Police identified the owner of the gold bars, each weighing one kilogram and found wrapped in newspapers, and concluded he had discarded them for fear of being arrested for criminal activity.

So far, the owner hasn’t come forward. If the owner doesn’t make a claim in six months, the janitor would get to keep the gold according to a “finders keepers” law. However, if the gold is linked to a criminal enterprise or is deemed “tainted goods,” the janitor will not be able to keep any of it.

In case the owner does show up and the gold is found to be “clean,” the janitor could still be able to keep about 5 to 20 percent of the market price of the gold, or 17.5 million won (US$163,000) to 70 million won (US$653,000), according to the “lost articles act” in South Korea, the article said.

But a BBC article recently reported that the airport has said that the cleaner won't be able to receive any reward because they were "working as airport staff and it is a part of the cleaner's job to find lost things."