Robber makes off with RM90,000 from Singapore bank using ‘piece of paper’

SINGAPORE: Police said Friday they are hunting a man who managed to steal more than S$30,000 (RM90,000) from a bank using nothing but a piece of paper.

The suspect, described as caucasian, strolled into a Standard Chartered branch in an expatriate enclave of the city around lunchtime on Thursday and handed staff a note with his demands.

Minutes later, he walked out of the branch with the cash, said a source close to the investigation, who asked not to be named.

A police spokesman confirmed the robbery and said no weapon was used, but gave no details of the note’s contents.

Police said they were searching for an Australian man.

Bank robberies are rare in Singapore, whose tough stance against crime and strict ban on private gun ownership have made it one of Asia’s safest cities.

The last attempt was in November 2008 when a man disguised himself as a woman threatened tellers with what he called a “bomb” in a paper bag. He was restrained by bank staff and arrested.

Many customers turned up at the Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village on Friday (July 8) morning to do their banking, a day after a brazen robbery took place there.

The Straits Times reported that a number of customers, unfazed by the daring heist, arrived before the bank counters opened at 10am Friday.

Retiree Daniel Liu, who is in his 60s, said he did not think another robbery would happen.

“Singapore is very safe and has a good reputation,” he said.

There was no security guard present at the bank then.

But it appears additional security measures have been put in place on Friday.

When the bank opened at 10am, there was a Certis Cisco security guard stationed near the entrance.

“If there was a security guard present yesterday it would’ve made a difference,” said another bank customer Mr Willy Lau, 43, who is self employed. – AFP