Man who robbed bank to get his own money back says he’d do it again

Joe Harker

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Man who robbed bank to get his own money back says he’d do it again

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo / WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A man who robbed a bank just so he could get his hands on his own money says he'd do it all over again.

A man in Lebanon was recently hailed as a national hero for robbing a bank, which may sound strange at first considering people who walk into places with guns and take hostages for hours aren't very heroic.

However, his hero status is much more understandable given the state of things in Lebanon, and the fact that he was only trying to withdraw his own money.

The man in question, Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, walked into a bank in Beirut on 11 August with a shotgun and a can of petrol, threatening to set himself on fire if he wasn't allowed to leave with his money.

Claiming he needed the cash to pay for his father's medical bills, a six-hour siege was brought to a peaceful end when Hussein was allowed to withdraw some of his funds.

Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein was hailed as a hero after he robbed his own money from a bank. Credit: WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein was hailed as a hero after he robbed his own money from a bank. Credit: WAEL HAMZEH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Speaking to Vice, he explained that he decided to rob the bank after being told he couldn't access his own savings. He promised the manager that he would 'come and burn down the branch' if he didn't get his money.

He said: "I told the hostages 'don't be scared, don't get involved in this and no one will get hurt'.

"I felt extraordinary, godly powers, something I have never felt before. There was so much anger in me that I was ready to spill blood."

The 42-year-old made it clear his robbery was not likely to be a one-off event, suggesting he would go back and do it again to access more of his money.

"Even before the money runs out, I will go to the bank and take more. Maybe next time I would use grenades, maybe using something else. Maybe the same bank, another bank, but I will do it again."

Hussein also said officials had reneged on certain parts of the deal he had struck to end the siege and release the hostages he had taken.

He claimed he had agreed a deal which would allow a lump sum of about $35,000 to be withdrawn from his own savings, along with daily withdrawals of $400 and permission to go home right away.

Although he got the $35,000, which is safe with a family member, he was held in custody for five days before being released after charges were dropped. Hussein says he hasn't been receiving the daily $400 withdrawals that he was promised.

People in Lebanon are only allowed to withdraw the equivalent of $400 a month from the banks as the country suffers through a devastating economic crisis.

The value of the Lebanese pound has dropped 90 percent compared to the US dollar, and banks are running low on cash to issue to people, resulting in the strict monthly withdrawal limit.

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Topics: News, World News, Crime, Money

Joe Harker
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