Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Monday, Oct 02, 2023

Beirut Protesters Demand Release of Bank Heist Detainees

Beirut Protesters Demand Release of Bank Heist Detainees

Protesters scuffled with Lebanese security forces Monday outside the Justice Ministry in Beirut, demanding the release of two people arrested last week during a bank heist.
The clash came as a delegation from the International Monetary Fund held meetings in Beirut with officials over the country’s economic meltdown and the limited steps taken by the government to pull Lebanon out of the worst economic crisis in its modern history. The crisis is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement.

The Lebanese government has implemented few of the IMF's demands from a staff level agreement reached with the IMF in April. It lists five “key pillars” that should be implemented, including restructuring the financial sector, implementing fiscal reforms, the proposed restructuring of external public debt, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering efforts.

The agreement also demanded that the country’s 14 largest banks be held up as a standard for work on restructuring the sector since they control about 80% of the market. The smaller banks that have problems should be taken over by bigger lenders.

Anger with local lenders who have been imposing informal capital controls including limits on ATM withdrawals for nearly three years has increased in recent weeks, with some depositors storming bank branches and taking their trapped savings by force.

Monday’s protest outside the Justice Ministry demanded the release of Abdul-Rahman Zakariya and Mohammed Rustom, who have been held since Wednesday after they broke into a bank branch and helped a depositor take her trapped savings to pay for her sister's cancer treatment.

They joined Sali Hafez, who used a toy pistol to demand $13,000 from her trapped savings account. Hafez, who has been in hiding, has said she repeatedly visited the bank to ask for her money and was told she could only receive $200 a month in Lebanese pounds.

On Friday depositors, including one armed with a hunting rifle, broke into at least five banks to demand their trapped savings, the largest number of such incidents in one day. The banks, citing security concerns, closed all branches for three days starting Monday.

At one point on Monday, dozens of protesters tried to storm the Justice Ministry before stopping after they removed a metal gate. There are concerns that if the two men are not released, protests could intensify.

In other parts of Beirut, protesters briefly closed several major roads in protest against deteriorating living conditions including almost nonexistent state electricity, a crash in the Lebanese pounds and rising poverty that has reached three quarters of the population since the economic crisis began in October 2019.

The Lebanese pound hit new lows, reaching 38,600 pounds to the US dollar on Monday.

Related Articles

Saudi Press
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Swedish Embassy in Baghdad Engulfed in Flames Amidst a Firestorm of Protests
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Today, we're unveiling the splendor of one of Saudi Arabia's most exclusive and stunning retreats – the Jeddah Yacht Club
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Muslim Tycoon Asif Aziz Receives Approval for the Transformation of the iconic London Trocadero Landmark into Mosque
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Hospitalized Due to Dehydration Amidst Summer Heatwave
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Saudi Arabia Joins the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia
The Renowned Crown Prince Camel Festival Set to Return to Taif on Aug. 1
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?