A man with a toy gun was arrested after holding up a Lebanese bank on Friday to retrieve his savings frozen in the banking system. This makes the third of such incident this week.
Before he was arrested, the man was able to retrieve a portion of his funds from Byblos Bank in the southern city of Ghazieh.
The recent follows an earlier report of a Lebanese woman who robbed a Beirut bank on Wednesday with a toy gun to access part of her own money to pay for her sister’s cancer treatment, more cases of robbery using the same method have continued to play out.
Earlier this week, there were similar cases of two people in the capital of Beirut and in the town of Aley in which depositors were able to access a portion of their funds by force, using toy pistols mistaken for real weapons.
Also, a man was detained after he held up a Beirut bank to withdraw funds to treat his sick father but was released without charge after the bank dropped its lawsuit against him.
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While such cases have become rampant in the country lately, Lebanon’s banking association urged authorities to hold accountable those engaging in verbal and physical attacks on banks.
What you should know
- Since an economic crisis took hold three years ago, Lebanese banks have locked most depositors out of their money, causing them to be unable to pay for basic expenses.
- Although the capital controls were never formalized by law, courts have been slow to rule on depositors’ attempts to access savings via litigation against banks. Hence, a lot of people are seeking alternative ways of getting their money.