By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 19 June 2014:
The recent spate of bank robberies in the capital shows no sign of abating. Yesterday saw . . .[restrict]two more.
In the first, thieves managed to grab 150,000 euros (LD 250,000) from Alejmaa Alarabi Bank in 17 February Street (formerly Shara Jumhouria). The thieves are said to have entered the open plan branch and forced staff to hand over the money which they then put in a small box and left.
In the second, LD 2 million was stolen from a Central Bank of Libya vehicle which was transferring the money to the Gumhouria Bank’s branch in the capital’s southern suburb of Krimea. Eight gunmen in two cars intercepted the CBL, vehicle forcing the driver to get out, and then stole the four steel boxes in which the cash was being transferred.
Reports claim the thieves came from Jafara district.
Over the last year there have been major banks heists in the south and east of the country; Tripoli was relatively untouched. However, the past two months have seen a trail of robberies.
In April, gunmen made off with LD 6 million after ambushing an Aman Bank security van which was taking the cash to deposit with the Central Bank. Another attempt to rob the bank’s head office in Gurji last week failed when it was foiled by bank security staff.
At the beginning of last month, thieves managed to grab LD 800,000 in an overnight raid on the Tajoura branch of the Bank of North Africa.
The same Alejmaa Alarabi Bank branch that was robbed yesterday was also subject to a failed bank robbery earlier this month.
It is suspected that inside information was used in both yesterday’s robberies.
The spate of robberies is having an impact on business in Tripoli. Because of the lack of security, many banks are now refusing to move cash to and from the Central Bank. [/restrict]