Lebanese man who held up bank for trapped savings walks free

lebanese man who held up bank for trapped savings walks free

Lebanese man who held up bank for trapped savings walks free

The accusations against a Lebanese man who took bank employees hostage last week in Beirut to demand access to his frozen savings have been dismissed, and he has been released from detention.

Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, who assaulted a Federal bank branch in Beirut with a rifle, was ordered to be released by Judge Ghassan al-Khoury after the bank withdrew its accusations against him, according to a report from the state-run National News Agency on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, following an hour-long struggle, Hussein surrendered after the bank permitted him to withdraw $30,000 from his more than $200,000 in frozen savings, according to media sources.

According to state media, he made the dramatic decision to use his savings in order to pay for his father’s surgery.

The event was the most recent between furious depositors who couldn’t access their frozen savings since 2019 and Lebanese banks.

Many in Lebanon, who hold the political and banking elite responsible for the nation’s financial crisis, which the World Bank has dubbed one of the worst in recent times, have welcomed Hussein as a hero.

The World Bank accused government officials of utilising a “Ponzi” scheme approach to public financing during the previous 30 years, benefiting important political and economic actors at the expense of normal depositors, in a study released this month.

It described the current economic crisis as a “deliberate depression” and claimed that the government had repeatedly and severely strayed from an orderly and disciplined fiscal policy to further its greater goal of securing political economic goals.

(With inputs from agencies)

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