Lebanon financial institution holdup: Depositors demand entry to financial savings
Depositors held up at the very least 5 separate banks round Lebanon on Friday in an try and retrieve financial savings frozen within the banking system, a Lebanese military official advised CNN.
In one of many incidents an armed man entered a financial institution within the south Lebanese metropolis of Ghazieh and poured gasoline on the ground of the constructing, threatening to burn the department if he couldn’t entry his cash, state information company NNA reported.
He was capable of retrieve $19,200 from the financial institution and handed it to somebody who was ready for him outdoors the financial institution, earlier than handing himself in to authorities, NNA mentioned.
In one other incident beneath investigation, a person entered a department of BLOM financial institution in Beirut’s Tariq al-Jdideh neighborhood, additionally attempting to entry his financial savings, the military official mentioned.
The person was allegedly armed however the scenario was “beneath management.. and nobody was harmed,” a person, who claimed to be an eyewitness to the incident and was interviewed by native TV channel Al Jadeed mentioned.
“It appears one thing was deliberate for today,” the military official mentioned. An investigation is ongoing, the military official advised CNN.
Following the incidents, the caretaker Inside Minister, Bassam Mawlawi, referred to as for an emergency safety assembly to “focus on additional safety measures that may be taken in gentle of the rising financial institution storming incidents,” NNA mentioned.
Lebanon’s banks have locked most depositors out of their financial savings since an financial disaster took maintain three years in the past, leaving a lot of the inhabitants unable to pay for fundamentals.
The holdups got here two days after related episodes unfolded at two completely different Beirut banks. In a single, a lady named Sally Hafiz took $20,000 from her account after storming a financial institution holding what she later claimed was a toy gun, state information reported.
In a separate incident final month, an armed man stormed a Beirut financial institution and threatened to kill hostages and himself if the financial institution didn’t permit him to withdraw cash from his frozen account. Bassam Sheikh Hussein claimed he wanted the funds to assist pay for his father’s medical bills. The standoff ended when the financial institution gave Hussein a few of his financial savings.