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Judge fines Lebanese bank heist figure, issues travel ban

KEYT

By KAREEM CHEHAYEB
Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese judge has fined and issued a six-month travel ban to a woman who stormed her bank with a fake pistol and forcefully withdrew her trapped savings. Sali Hafez on Thursday entered the Justice Palace in Beirut with her lawyer after spending weeks in hiding and surrendering to authorities. Her lawyer says she and her sister were released on bail. Hafez and a group of activists last month stormed a BLOM Bank branch in Beirut, forcing management to give her over $12,000 to cover another sister’s medical expenses. Lebanon’s cash-strapped banks have imposed strict limits on withdrawals of foreign currency. Hafez has been hailed as a leader and about a dozen similar incidents have since taken place.

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