Man robbed of money to visit sick mum finds kindness from strangers

When a Barcelona taxi driver was stabbed and the money he had saved up to visit his sick mother in Pakistan stolen, it was strangers who came to the rescue.

Man robbed of money to visit sick mum finds kindness from strangers
Stock image of someone giving money. Photo: Gaizka Iroz / AFP

Barcelona taxi driver Asad Shoaib Abbasi, 44, had worked all night on New Year's Day and was ready to go home in the early hours of January 2nd when two young men stopped him in the street, newspaper La Vanguardia reported.

At first everything seemed fine, he told the newspaper, and he started to drive the men to their destination. But as they approached the location and Shoaib told them the fare, one of the men hit him in the head with the handle of a knife. 

To try to protect himself, the father of four jumped out of the taxi, but the second man was already outside and started to stab him in the side.

Out of desperation, he told them where he kept an envelope of money, which he had intended to use to visit his sick mother in Pakistan.

The attackers fled after they saw a passerby, but Shoaib decided to pursue them in his vehicle, soon to be joined by a group of fellow taxi drivers who heard what happened on the company radio. One of the men was caught while the other managed to get away.

After reading about what happened to Shoaib, two different men decided to find him and donate money towards his trip to see his mother, La Vanguardia reported on Wednesday.

The first man, David, met Shoaib at a mall where he gave him the donation in person. The second man, Héctor, met him for coffee. 

The newspaper reported that the taxi driver was able to buy plane tickets with the money and his flight was set to leave on Tuesday.

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Spain’s ‘2,000-tumour man’ sentenced for scamming donors

A Spaniard known as "the man with 2,000 tumours" who lied about having terminal cancer was handed a two-year jail term Monday for scamming donations from thousands, including celebrities.

Spain's '2,000-tumour man' sentenced for scamming donors
De Cedecejj - Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Paco Sanz, 50, appeared regularly on television and social media between 2010 and 2017, claiming to have nearly 2,000 tumours as a result of Cowden syndrome.

Saying he had only months to live, he appealed for donations via his web page, through text messages and even a charity gala.   

Although he did suffer from the syndrome, all his tumours were benign and posed no threat to his life.

Prosecutors say the former security guard collected just under €265,000 ($319,000) before being arrested in March 2017 in the eastern Valencia region.   

Among those who sent him money were popular television presenter Jorge Javier Vazquez and Spanish footballer Alvaro Negredo.    

Prosecutors accused Sanz of “taking advantage of his illness” to “obtain illegal funding”.

They said he presented the disease as being “much more serious than it really was” and of falsely claiming he could only be saved if he got experimental treatment in the United States.   

In reality, he travelled to the US to take part in a free clinical trial and “all his costs were covered” by the firm running it, prosecutors added.    

In video obtained by Spanish media at the time of his arrest, Sanz could be seen joking with his girlfriend and family members about the lies he was telling.

As his trial opened in Madrid on Monday, Sanz pleaded guilty to fraud, receiving a two-year jail sentence, while his girlfriend was sentenced to a year and nine months for being his accomplice.

But they are not likely to serve time behind bars, as sentences below two years are usually suspended in Spain for first-time offenders convicted of non-violent crimes.

The trial will continue so the court can determine how much money the pair owe in damages.

READ ALSO: Fraudster parents of sick girl jailed for charity scam