Women search for bag with missing passports

The missing bag bears a close resemblance to this Dunlop suitcase.

This bargain carried a barrel of unintended consequences.

Two women are searching for a suitcase that was sold in George Town last month at a yard sale with important documents inside. Laura Buttigieg sold the bag by accident without knowing that her former roommate Sonya Cumpsty had stashed two passports and a permanent residency card inside a back pocket.

Ms. Cumpsty said Wednesday that her Australian and British passports are missing, along with her Canadian permanent residency card. She discovered the documents were missing recently when planning a vacation, and she is hoping the community will hear her plight and help her find her passports.

“I recently moved out with my boyfriend,” she said. “We were … looking at booking a trip, and I was like, ‘Oh, I must’ve left that bag at my old house.’ I went looking for it and was explaining to [Laura] what it looked like, and I think that’s when the penny dropped that she’d sold it.”

The bag is a black Dunlop suitcase with blue trim, and Ms. Buttigieg confused it for a bag of her own. The yard sale was held on March 10 on South Church Street, and Ms. Buttigieg believes that the man who purchased it was between 30 and 40 years old and wearing a uniform of some kind.

“It was so busy. Everybody was grabbing stuff and yelling,” said Ms. Buttigieg. “It wasn’t even for sale. I was using it to display things that were for sale, and people kept asking about it. I thought, ‘OK, we might as well sell it. I don’t need it.’ But I thought it was mine. And it was hers.”

The two women have made several postings on Facebook about the bag, and they are hoping that someone in the community will hear their story and help them fix their mistake.

“Maybe he’s just using it to store things and he hasn’t gone through it,” said Ms. Buttigieg of the man who purchased the bag. “I went through it when I gave it to him, and to me, it appeared empty. But there’s a zip at the back that I didn’t notice. And that’s where her passports were.” Ms. Cumpsty said she has not called the respective consulates to apprise them of her missing documents, and she’s holding out hope that she will somehow be able to find them.

“I can’t get an emergency passport because of the circumstances. It’s really only for emergencies,” she said of obtaining a replacement. “My whole family in Australia is on vacation at the moment, so I can’t even get them to send my original birth certificate. I can’t even start the process for at least a month. I was supposed to be going on vacation in two weeks and then to South Africa in two months.”

Anyone with information about the bag or missing documents can contact Ms. Buttigieg at 922-2845, or they can send an email message to Ms. Cumpsty at [email protected]