BEIRUT — "Depositors' actions" against banks will take place tomorrow in Mount Lebanon and the Bekaa, Rami Ollaik, founder of the lawyers' collective Mouttahidoun (United), told L'Orient-Le Jour on Monday, after a depositor, accompanied by several accomplices, forcibly retrieved his savings this morning from a Blom Bank branch in Haret Hreik, in the southern suburb of Beirut.
Ollaik claimed that he does not know the people involved in Monday's Blom Bank incident. Last September, Ollaik supported depositor Sali Hafez, who held up her bank to recover her own savings. "We have actions planned tomorrow from depositors in Mount Lebanon and Bekaa," Ollaik said, without specifying the exact nature of the actions or their location.
Regarding the latest incident at Blom Bank in Haret Hreik, the founder of Mouttahidoun said: "Honestly, we are overwhelmed. Several people are contacting us, but there is no direct coordination" in the actions against the banks.
Lebanon saw a series of bank holdups last month by aggrieved depositors attempting to access their own funds, which are locked due to the ongoing economic crisis. On Sept. 16, at least five holdups took place in various banks across the country. Two days earlier, two bank holdups had also taken place, one of which was carried out by a young woman, Sali Hafez, armed with a toy gun.
The holdups prompted banks to close for a week and demand security measures from the authorities. Most of them then reopened, implementing strict measures such as receiving customers by appointment only.