Mastermind of oldest bank robbery in Jeddah executed

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Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — On Sunday, the Ministry of Interior executed the gang leader involved in the oldest criminal investigation of a crime that took place 16 years ago.

The Saudi man Jameel Asiri formed a gang and robbed Al-Rajhi Bank on King Fahd Road in Jeddah 16 years ago. He fired his gun in the air to intimidate the people in the bank. The other gang members dragged the manager of the bank out of his office and stole SR85,000 and $4,000. They then escaped in a Lexus.

After a few weeks, the same gang robbed the French Saudi Bank on King Fahd Road in Al-Bawadi District. Two gang members barged in and opened fire petrifying the employees. They stole SR190,000 and escaped the scene in a Caprice.

The police investigated the incidents and tracked down four people, three of which were Saudis. The police found weapons and sums of money at their possession. One of the arrested criminals confessed that he was the one that gathered the others and supplied them with weapons to help him rob the banks. He added that he was the one that opened fire in the banks and the other two would take the money.

After further investigation, the police found out that the criminal was also involved in identity theft crimes and obtaining unlicensed weaponry. The rest of the arrested individuals did not have any previous criminal records.

The case was forwarded to Jeddah Penal Court. The initial verdict was the death sentence on each member of the gang. The verdict was then repealed. The court decided that only the leader of the gang will be sentenced to death and the others will be sentenced to 25 years in prison. The verdict was repealed again. The court then sentenced the head of the gang to 25 years in prison and his followers to 20 years in prison. The verdict was repealed for the third time. The case was forwarded to the Court of Appeal and the final verdict was the death sentence to the head of the gang and 25 years of imprisonment.


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