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Knife-wielding soldier tries to rob bank in Meikhtila

Bank robber Wai Yan Myo Kyaw (white shirt, hooded) is led away by security guards.

A Burmese army captain was arrested on Tuesday morning in Mandalay division’s Meikhtila after a failed solo attempt at robbing the military-owned Innwa Bank, according to a government statement.

According to a report on the Ministry of Information’s Facebook page, the knife-wielding robber has been identified as 26-year-old army captain Wai Yan Myo Kyaw, who is based in the neighbouring Sagaing division town of Kanbalu.

He reportedly grabbed bank manager Mi Mi Yin and held her hostage at knifepoint shortly after walking into the bank. He then told the bank tellers to put all the money in a rucksack he had brought along. The robber then put his knife down on the counter, at which point Mi Mi Yin grabbed the opportunity to knock it away. She then screamed for help, prompting security guards to rush in and overpower Wai Yan Myo Kyaw.

The robber was then tied up and taken from the scene to a nearby police station.

“He tried to rob the bank armed with only with a knife. I heard the bank staff screaming and saw motorbike taxi drivers run inside. The robber was apprehended and was taken to Meikhtila Police Station-2,” said Khin Nan, a resident of Meikhtila who witnessed the incident.

When contacted by DVB, an officer at Meikhtila Police Station-2 said the case was under investigation.

The Innwa Bank, owned and operated by the Burmese military, is located in downtown Meikhtila and is regularly used by the army’s Logistics Battalion based in the town. Residents said the bank is usually guarded by two policemen and two soldiers, and that no such incident had ever happened in the past to their knowledge.