Woman claims she is trying to fund treatment for her cancer-stricken sister.
Armed man enters BankMed branch in Lebanon’s mountain city of Aley and tries to retrieve his trapped savings.
Both incidents are evidence that Lebanese depositors are beginning to take matters into their own hands.
In a desperate bid to afford hospital treatment for her cancer-stricken sister, a Lebanese woman compelled personnel at BLOM Bank in Beirut to hand over thousands of dollars of her own money by brandishing what appeared to be a firearm in the branch.
Soon after, an armed guy approached a BankMed office in Lebanon’s hilly city of Aley and attempted to reclaim his entrapped savings. Before turning himself in to authorities, the individual obtained some of the money.
The events on Wednesday mirror a similar occurrence in August. When a man took people hostage at another Beirut bank in order to forcefully acquire money that the bank had withheld.
They show that Lebanese depositors, whose savings have been devalued. And locked in banks for nearly three years, are taking matters into their own hands.
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According to witnesses, in the BLOM Bank incident. A woman identified by her mother as Sali Hafiz entered the branch with activists and stormed the manager’s office.
Hafiz broadcast a live video of her raid. In which she could be heard demanding at employees to release money as the bank’s entrances were sealed.
“I am Sali Hafiz, and I came today… to accept deposits for my dying sister in the hospital,” she said in the video.
“I did not come to kill or set fire to anyone… “I come to assert my rights.”
In Lebanon, where many are desperate to access their savings. And angry at a banking sector viewed as a corrupt cartel. The woman quickly became a folk hero on social media.
A second woman in the video claimed to have found more than $13,000. While a man standing next to her held what appeared to be stacks of bills wrapped in plastic.
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