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Rare bank robbery highlights complacency in safe Singapore

A rare bank robbery in Singapore has sparked a social media debate on whether the country`s low crime rates made authorities and the population too complacent, questioned bank security and criticised police for not providing details of the incident.



Singapore: A rare bank robbery in Singapore has sparked a social media debate on whether the country`s low crime rates made authorities and the population too complacent, questioned bank security and criticised police for not providing details of the incident.

A man stole S$30,000 ($22,300) from a Standard Chartered branch last Thursday, having slipped the teller a note saying he was armed, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The teller pressed a silent alarm button and police arrived within minutes, but it was too late, said the source, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Standard Chartered said the bank has taken "immediate actions to further enhance" security. It declined to comment on the details of the robbery as investigations were ongoing.

"While there was no security guard present, our staff acted in accordance to protocols and in the best interests of our customers and our colleagues," a bank spokeswoman said.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore urged banks to "learn from the recent incident and assess whether their security measures need to be enhanced".

Local newspaper Straits Times said the last bank robbery in Singapore - by a man with a fruit knife - occurred in 2004.

Singapore police often appeal to the public for information, but did not release any CCTV footage of the latest bank robbery and did not answer Reuters requests for details on the robbery.

The police "didn`t even have the decency to issue a statement or conduct a briefing about the robbery ... stage fright???", said Facebook user Erik Seeto.

Twitter user @Thefinnigans, summed up Thursday`s robbery with a meme depicting a polite dialogue between a smiling teller and an elderly man. After the man says he wants to rob the bank, the teller asks whether he would like a transfer into his account, then they settle for notes.

The man says: "I will definitely rob here again." The teller responds: "We welcome you to rob us anytime!"

Police have launched a major manhunt for the bank robber. The last high-profile manhunt in Singapore was in 2008, when Mas Selamat Kastari, the suspected leader of a radical Islamist group linked to the 2002 Bali bombings, shot to fame after escaping from the toilet of a detention centre.

From Zee News

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