Military officer 'commits suicide' after allegedly robbing bank in Vietnam: reports

By Quoc Thang, Cuu Long   September 29, 2017 | 03:02 am PT
Investigators are still unsure if the dead officer was the man behind the heist this week.

A military officer suspected of stealing $9,100 from a bank in southern Vietnam on Wednesday has been found dead, according to various media reports.

Local media quoted police sources as saying that the 42-year-old officer shot himself in the head at his office in Vinh Long Province on Friday after leaving a suicide note explaining that he was heavily in debt.

But a senior military criminal investigator said that they are unsure whether the dead officer was the man who carried out the bank heist.

A masked man entered a Vietinbank branch in Vinh Long on Wednesday carrying a gun, and ordered staff to fill his bag with cash.

He left unopposed on a motorbike with no license plate three minutes later as no one was certain if the gun was real or fake. 

Camera footage retrieved from the area showed that the suspect removed his shoes and gloves after driving for one kilometer before ditching his bag and helmet 20 minutes later. He also changed his clothes and reattached the bike’s license plate.

Further investigations are underway, the police said.

Bank robberies are rare in Vietnam and each case usually involves a single individual and a small amount of cash.

Earlier this month, a man allegedly robbed a bank in the southern province of Dong Nai with a fake bomb and managed to escape with about VND20 million (less than $1,000). Police have arrested his brother for failing to report him while the suspect is still at large.

In May, police in the southern province of Tra Vinh arrested a 29-year-old man 10 days after he used an air gun to steal more than VND2 billion ($88,000) from a Vietcombank branch. A court in Tra Vinh sentenced him to 20 years in prison last Thursday.

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