Customer robs $260,000 from bank in Taiwan

Customer robs $260,000 from bank in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A gunman believed to be a frequent client robbed a bank in Yunlin yesterday, making off with more than NT$6 million (S$260,000), police in the southern county said.

No one was injured in the heist that occurred after service hours at the Taichung Bank's Huwei branch in Yunlin County, police said, adding that they were hunting for a suspect identified as a client of the bank.

No arrests had been made as of press time.

The doors of the bank were already closed with its staff doing the final work for the day when the suspect, identified as a 28-year-old man surnamed Huang, showed up at about 5:20 p.m. asking to conduct a money transfer, according to police.

A security guard recognised him as a frequent client and let him in through a side door despite telling him it was no longer possible to transfer money at the time.

After another bank clerk, surnamed Lin, had come down from the second floor to serve him, he produced a gun and threw a bag onto a teller's desk demanding it be filled with money.

He held Lin at gunpoint and had her and others fill the bag with cash. After it was filled, the robber grabbed the bag but dropped more than NT$200,000 on the floor before bursting out of the bank and escaping on a motorcycle.

The bank later said the robber made away with more than NT$6.2 million in cash.

When police arrived at the scene in response to the bank's report of the robbery, the suspect had already gone.

The alleged robber was wearing neither a mask nor a motorcycle helmet, with his face clearly exposed. Bank clerks said he had come often to the bank with his mother doing money transfers.

He had been seen outside the bank earlier at around 3 p.m., said police after viewing bank surveillance camera footage.

"We have viewed the surveillance camera footage and identified the suspect as a 28-year-old man surnamed Huang," a police officer told the press. "We are stepping up efforts looking for the suspect."

Police described Huang as 170cm tall, weighing 80kg and wearing a black T-shirt, a pair of jeans and a pair or red sneakers during the heist.

The suspect has a criminal record for theft and fraud, police said, adding he was probably acting alone.

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