Iqbal Zahid (inset) has received a Good Citizen Aware. Photos: Facebook, Hong Kong Police

A 35-year-old man of Pakistani origin was commended at a Good Citizen Award Presentation Ceremony on Wednesday for helping catch a pickpocket on Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway.

Iqbal Zahid, who has lived in Hong Kong for 20 years, witnessed a pickpocket trying to steal a wallet from a woman’s backpack on the MTR in March, Sing Pao Daily reported.

Zahid told the woman to check her bag and pointed out the thief, but the man denied the allegation, Sing Pao reported, adding that the pickpocket accused Zahid of being the real thief and punched him in the head.

Zahid caught the man and refused to let him get off the train until  police arrived.

The woman said she appreciated Zahid’s action very much, as she had cash, bank cards and jewelry in the wallet.

Zahid was one of 40 Hong Kong residents who received Good Citizen Awards on Wednesday for helping police fight crime.

The awardees, the youngest of whom was 14 years old and the oldest 75, helped out in a variety of cases ranging from robbery, theft, wounding, outraging public decency and criminal damage.

The Good Citizen Awards are presented by Hong Kong police twice a year. Each of the awardees receives a certificate and a check for  HK$3,000 (US$384). More than 4,000 people have been commended over the years, according to the police.

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