Posted on: September 11, 2023, 07:55h.
Last updated on: September 11, 2023, 07:55h.
A man who robbed a bank in South Korea last month was able to make a clean getaway before authorities figured out who he was. His freedom didn’t last too long, though, and police found him in a casino in Vietnam over the weekend, according to South Korean news agency Korea JoonAng Daily.
The unidentified 47-year-old allegedly robbed a branch of the National Credit Union Federation of Korea in the middle of August. He escaped from the bank in the city of Daejeon, about two hours south of Seoul, with around KRW39 million ($29,307) in cash.
For 24 days, he escaped a police net that, soon after the heist, grew beyond South Korea’s borders. With the help of Interpol and authorities from several countries, the net finally fell on Sunday.
A Well-Equipped Plan
The crook apparently thought out the heist with a lot of precision. Wearing a black helmet, he entered the bank and unloaded the contents of a fire extinguisher as a distraction before threatening a bank employee with a knife.
The timing of the robbery was likely also part of his plan – at the time, there were only two employees present and no customers. In less than 10 minutes, the ordeal was over, and the crook took off on a motorcycle.
As the attack unfolded, the other employee headed to the bathroom, where he or she called the police. Immediately, they began their pursuit, but soon learned that the crook was either intimately familiar with the area or had drawn out an elaborate escape route.
He had even planted a second motorcycle along the route to throw his pursuers off his track even more. This would later give way to taxis and walking paths as he added more distance between him and the police.
In just a short time, the thief disappeared. Although the authorities had failed to capture him that day, they eventually identified him by scouring as much video footage as they could.
Once they did, they likely learned that he had already fled the country. It was then that the authorities turned to Interpol and authorities in Vietnam to try to pick up the trail.
The End of the Line
The efforts paid off, although perhaps not because of Interpol’s red notice. Word had gotten around to the general public that there was a wanted fugitive on the loose in Vietnam, and a South Korean national living in Vietnam spotted him.
That individual informed the authorities that he had seen the suspect at a casino a few days earlier. At this point, the police could only sit back and watch, hoping he would show up again.
A few days later, he did. South Korea’s National Police Agency, working alongside police from Vietnam and Interpol, arrested the man at a casino in Danang this past Sunday.
He is apparently better at logistics than at gambling. If he had hoped not to draw suspicion while in Vietnam, he failed – he was wearing a hat and facemask when police arrested him.
The authorities believe he already spent the money he stole, although he had KRW2 million (US$1,504) in casino chips on him during his capture. He now faces extradition to South Korea once the authorities finish filling out all the paperwork.