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Brunei: Fake Bus Robbery Alerts Citizens

Last week, the story of a robbery in the busy business area of Gadong, Brunei, spread quickly on Twitter and Facebook.

@ranoadidas: http://twitpic.com/4t68c2 Part of the crime scene this afternoon, near Ayamku Gdg. Lady hurt from cash robbery. Around 3pm #brunei

@givemecaek:‎ First time I heard there was a day light robbery in Brunei. o.O

Local celebrity blogger ranoadidas posted on his blog his concern about this bus robbery which is unprecedented in Brunei:

rumours that the victim was killed or murdered were not true. She was manhandled for sure and the culprit managed to walk away with the $$. According to a local source, the lady worker withdrew some substantial amount of money from a bank and walked in Gadong area. Only then she was apprehended outside Ayamku Gadong and that's how it all happened.

… the lady victim is in stable condition and the robber is still on the loose. Now the question is about the level of safety in Brunei. This is truly a sad incident to know of because the magnitude of the robbery. This happened in broad day light and in public. This would indeed change the mindset of the public of bringing $$ in hand too.

I do hope the police and relevant authorities can find the culprit. So guys.. just be aware and mindful if you withdraw loads of money in public places… today's incident may have cause some temporary doubts about the safety in public places.

Scene of the crime? From the twitpic page of @purply28

An earlier report stated that a few passengers on a bus might have caught a glimpse of the ‘robbery’. Taken from Brunei Times:

As the bus was still moving, he said he could not see the occupants inside the car but noticed that both front doors were open. From his line of sight, he also saw another individual standing “a bit far” from the car, who also witnessed the incident.

“He was looking directly at the car. I don't know. He could've been one of them (an accomplice) or just a witness,” he said.

But even before the papers came out the next day, there was already rumours that the robbery was staged. The fake robbery made the front page of one of the local newspapers. Apparently, an employee tried to steal money from an employer by faking a bus robbery. Here are some comments on Twitter:

@kisich: okay… so, the robbery never happened.

@ranoadidas: twitpic.com/4thu4v So the robbery was staged??

@d3x: Worrying trends.twitpic.com/4thvct

Even from the start the story did not really make sense. Why would anyone withdraw BNF $20,000 and not have someone to accompany them? This is a tragic story of how the ‘assaulted’ person tried to cheat her own employers but in the end could not pull it off out of guilt.

In a fairy tale, there would be a happy ending, in this case the employers could possible sympathise here and decide to help her. However, this is not a fairy tale – in real life she will have to face the law.

This incident, regardless of its false nature, had given the people of this country some cause for alarm that some people are not afraid to resort to crime just to make a quick buck. It just shows that money, in this case, can do more evil than good.

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