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Bachar Bzeih 04 Oct 2022

Updates on All of Today’s Bank Hold Ups

As of 12:00 PM on Tuesday October 4, Lebanon has witnessed three bank hold ups across the country. This comes as part of a marked escalation by depositors’ groups in an effort to retrieve their withheld money.

Notable actions against banks over the past few weeks have included Sally Hafez’s $13,000 retrieval at BLOM Bank Sodeco and Mohamad Korkomaz’s use of a toy gun to secure $19,200 at Bank Byblos Ghazieh. Banks eventually closed their doors due to these “heists.”

The three banks that were targeted so far today are:

– BLC Bank, Chtoura
– First National Bank, Tripoli
– Byblos Bank, Sour

Here are in-depth updates on all of them.

Ali Al-Sahili at BLC Bank, Chtoura

Armed with a gun, Ali Al-Sahili stormed BLC Bank in Chtoura to demand his deposit of $24,000. Sahili is a retired member of the Internal Security Forces and has a son in Ukraine who was both kicked out of his university and evicted from his home due to his inability to pay fees and rent. According to the the depositor group, Sarkhat Moudeaa (Depositor’s Shout), Al-Sahili had been planning to sell his kidney.

BLC Bank is said to have offered the depositor $4,300 to be transferred to his son in Ukraine, but he rejected their offer. Al-Sahili’s weapon was then apprehended by an employee in the bank, allowing the security forces present to enter and arrest him.

It is yet to be seen if Al-Sahili will remain in custody or be released. The depositor group, Sarkhat Moudeaa (Depositor’s Shout) are following up with his case.

Kadisha Electricity Employees at First National Bank, Tripoli

In Tripoli, First National Bank was stormed by a large number of Kadisha Electricity employees. The employees are protesting a move by the bank to take a percentage fee of their salary. They are demanding to be paid their salary in full and without any obstructions.

The president of the Confederation of Labor Unions in the North, Chady al-Sayed declared his solidarity with the employees and is threatening to escalate if the workers’ demands are not heard.

The Lebanese Army is present at the scene but no agreement seems to have been reached thus far between the employees and FNB. The Kadisha electricity employees are unarmed.

Ali Hadraj at Byblos Bank, Sour

Ali Hassan Hadraj stormed Byblos Bank in Sour to demand his deposit of $44,000. He is armed and has taken hostages. No motive has been shared for his actions.

A crowd of residents assembled around the bank to support Hadraj, alongside officials from the Lebanese Army’s Intelligence branch and Internal Security Forces.

According to Al-Jadeed, the president of the depositors union, Hassan Moghnieh is set to enter the bank and receive an amount negotiated by Hadraj and the bank. With Hadraj then compelled to surrender himself to the security forces.