Two men entered a Lebanese bank today armed with a gun and demanded their savings.
What happened: Ali al-Saheli and Ibrahim Baydoun attacked a branch of Credit Libanais in the village of Hazmeeh, Lebanon. Saheli, a retired Internal Security Forces officer, was armed with a handgun and a Molotov cocktail. They demanded thousands of dollars from their own deposits, according to Lebanese media reports.
Saheli also held up a bank in October and was arrested and released.
Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported that the men earned $50,000.
A video posted by the Association of Depositors in Lebanon shows Saheli is threatening Holding a gun and hurting people in the bank. The association advocates on behalf of Lebanese people who cannot access their savings.
Al-Mudea Al-Muslّح في بنك تعليق عليه الرحين by saying: If they try to hurt us, we will hurt everyone, if they try to break into the bank, we will all die, I don’t want to hurt you.
🔺 The General Prosecutor’s Office refuses to remove the depositor from the bank and requires the security agencies to arrest him and confiscate the money that the bank paid him from his deposit. pic.twitter.com/trxBGzH69i
— جمعية المودين اللبانيان (@Lebdepositors) 2 November 2022
Why this is important: There have been several armed holdups of banks in Lebanon in recent weeks. Most Lebanese cannot access their savings due to capital controls and mismanagement of funds. The Lebanese pound has also fallen in value against the dollar, greatly reducing the value of many people’s savings.
Several banks were completely closed for several days in September due to theft incidents. Banks have also increased security arrangements.
Learn more: Lebanon’s economic crisis has been ongoing since 2019. In addition to economic woes, the country is facing devastating fuel and electricity shortages.
Violence and suicide are on the rise in Lebanon, with murders up 18% this year.