Lebanese Bank Customers Held Hostage by Armed Depositor Demanding His Money

An armed account-holder in Beirut, Lebanon, caused a hostage situation on August 11, when he entered a bank and threatened to “kill everyone” and “set himself ablaze” if he was not allowed to withdraw $209,000, local media reported.

Footage streamed by the Lebanese Depositors Association shows a large crowd gathered outside the bank in central Beirut.

Local media reported that a 42-year-old man had walked into the bank on Thursday and demanded to withdraw $209,000, stating that the money was needed for his father’s surgery.

According to the International Bar Association, depositors in Lebanon have struggled to access their money due to withdrawal ceilings, limits on movement, and prolonged bank shutdowns since 2018.

The Lebanese Depositors Association said on Facebook that its president was attempting to negotiate with the bank on behalf of the 42-year-old hostage taker, named by the Association as Basem Sheikh Hussein.

It was not known at the time of writing how many customers were inside the bank.

This is a developing story. Credit: Lebanese Depositors Association via Storyful