Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Thieves arm bank official with ‘explosive belt,’ steal 14 million pesos

A “belt bomb” enabled thieves to help themselves to 14 million pesos (US $647,000) from a BBVA branch in Mexico City on Friday.

The bank said Tuesday that the theft was carried out with the use of a belt of fake explosives that a bank official was forced to wear to ensure her cooperation.

The official, a teller manager identified as Karina S., 36, was intercepted and kidnapped by the thieves while driving to work at a branch in the Mexico City borough of Gustavo A. Madero on Friday morning.

They forced the belt onto her and gave her a cell phone, with which they threatened her life and the safety of her family via video calls in order to compel her carry out the robbery.

The teller manager was ordered to continue driving to work, where she enlisted the help of another employee to remove cash from the vault and bank machines. Following the thieves’ instructions, she then delivered the money to a location in Ecatepec, México state, where she was told to abandon her vehicle.

The woman subsequently removed the “bomb” without incident and contacted the bank to report the theft.

According to Mexico City investigators, the thieves had studied her movements to and from work for weeks in order to plan their attack.

Police said the bomb was a “poorly made” device that employed four fireworks rockets but did not clarify whether it could have been detonated remotely.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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