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Money exchange firm robbery ‘inspired by American films’

Bahrain News
Wed, 12 Sep 2018
By NOOR ZAHRA


A MAN, who allegedly robbed a money exchange firm in broad daylight, claimed he got the idea from American films, a court heard.

The 30-year-old Bahraini fled the country after the heist at the National Finance and Exchange Company in Isa Town on June 9 this year.

However, he was arrested in Kuwait and extradited back to Bahrain to face charges of aggravated robbery.

He appeared at the High Criminal Court where he earlier denied the charges, but he told prosecutors he thought of robbing the firm after getting into an argument with his parents.

“I was feeling upset as I sat in my bedroom after having a fight with my family,” he said in his statement to the Public Prosecution.

“I then remembered I had seen American movies about bank robberies and I got an idea to do the same in Bahrain.

“On the day, I wore a black T-shirt and jeans and used a black T-shirt to cover my face.

“My sister’s car came in handy; I removed the number plates and drove to the National Finance and Exchange Company in Isa Town.

“I knew it would be easy to commit the robbery during the morning.

“I waited in the vehicle until I saw a couple of employees enter the exchange company.

“I armed myself with a wooden plank which I got from a building under construction and told the employees to hand over the cash.

“However, an Indian employee wrestled with me, but I pushed him away and snatched a bag full of money.

“The same employee managed to remove my mask but I fled, got into the car and drove off.

“I was arrested in Kuwait the following day and brought back to Bahrain.”

Defence lawyer Fatima Al Asfoor claimed her client suffered from a mental illness and requested him to be sent to the Psychiatric Hospital for an evaluation.

A leading judge accepted her request and adjourned the trial until October 1 to summon prosecution witnesses to court.

Threat

The GDN reported on June 12 that CCTV footage showed the masked robber breaking into the branch at around 8am and fleeing the scene with BD4,000 cash in an unmarked silver coloured vehicle.

An employee of the exchange company, an Indian national, previously told prosecutors that the attacker forced his way through the locked doors and threatened to bludgeon them with the wooden plank.

He said the assailant shouted at the employees in Arabic to give him the money but got angry when he was told there was no cash.

His colleague, a 30-year-old Filipina woman, also told prosecutors during questioning that she was scared the attacker would make good on his threats to beat them on the head with the wooden plank. According to court documents, the defendant has 36 prior charges related to theft, drugs and assault.

noorz@gdn.com.bh

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