South Africa’s biggest bank heist took place without a single shot being fired.Thieves armed with explosives and assault rifles attacked dozens of armored vehicles delivering cash to the country’s lenders last year, stealing hundreds of millions of rand. They’ve allegedly been outdone by five bankers accused of siphoning off at least 1.5 billion rand ($114 million) from VBS Mutual Bank.The collapse of the seventh-smallest of South Africa’s 21 banks has left a trail of destruction, with customers queuing up outside branches before dawn in the hope of accessing their funds. Like Mulalo Ramano, a 72-year-old widow who’s suffered anxiety attacks fretting about the 20,000-rand life savings she deposited at the bank.“My heart beats so so fast, it feels like it’s going to pop out,” a frail Ramano said July 14 as she waited outside a branch of VBS in Thohoyandou in northeastern South Africa. She was among dozens of people lined up to trying to get their money back from the lender that collapsed in March.The scandal has claimed the jobs of senior managers at KPMG South Africa and the Public Investment Corp., Africa’s largest money manager. It’s also put at risk 1.65 billion rand of illegal deposits made by… Read full this story
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