Boom or bust: Saigon bank robber threatens staff with ‘bomb’

By Quoc Thang, Dinh Van   October 10, 2020 | 07:30 pm GMT+7
Boom or bust: Saigon bank robber threatens staff with ‘bomb’
Police and firefighting forces are dispatched to a bank branch in HCMC's Tan Phu District after it was robbed by a woman claiming she had a bomb, October 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van.

A woman took over VND2 billion ($86,485) from a bank in Tan Phu District in HCMC on Saturday, threatening employees with what she claimed was a bomb.

The woman, who was masked and unidentified, but seemed to be over 30 years of age, entered the bank at around 11 a.m. from Truong Vinh Ky Street. She brought a hand bag into the branch, located on the ground floor of a three-storey building, according to a security guard.

When staff tried to stop her from entering since the bank had already closed, she asked to be let in to "take stuffs." She then headed straight to an employee's table, put a bag on it, which contained multiple mini gas tanks, gasoline, flickering lights and other gadgets, claiming it was a bomb.

The woman then poured gasoline on the table and requested the employee to put VND2 billion into the bag. After getting the money, the robber blocked access into the bank by sealing the doors with wire, jumped into a taxi and escaped.

"The whole ordeal took place in around five minutes," said a witness.

As of 2:30 p.m., the street section near the bank has been barricaded. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene in response to the suspected bomb threat.

An investigation is ongoing.

UPDATED: The woman has been identified as 24-year-old Phung Thi Thang from the northern Bac Giang Province. She was caught inside a mall three hours after escaping from the bank.

Investigations revealed that Thang often joined game shows on television and other ventures as an attempt to get into showbiz. But it did not pay off and she lost a lot of money. Due to her precarious financial situation, she decided to rob a bank.

 
 
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