The Irrawaddy

Robbers Hit KBZ Branch in Kachin, Still at Large

A KBZ branch in downtown Yangon.

YANGON — Four armed men robbed a small branch of one of Myanmar’s leading banks, Kanbawza (KBZ), Tuesday afternoon in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

According to a statement from the bank, the men threatened the branch employees with a gun and made away with more than 92 million kyats ($68,000).

U Nyo Myint, a senior managing director of KBZ Group, told The Irrawaddy that the four young men — one armed with a pistol and the others with iron rods and knives — entered the branch a few minutes past 3 p.m.

“They didn’t wear any masks. They threatened the four employees there. Before they ran away with the money they smashed the CCTV of the bank,” he said. “It all happened in 10 minutes.”

The bank reported the case to police in Myitkyina, and U Nyo Myint said they have begun searching for the robbers.

“We have to tighten our security measures more than before. And we will raise the security awareness of our staff to not let that kind of incident happen,” he added.

Last year, a KBZ branch in Myeik Township, in Tanintharyi Region, was robbed by a pistol-toting robber who ran off with 27 million kyats of customers’ cash. The robber is still at large.

Established in 1994 and run by the Kanbawza Conglomerate, KBZ is one of Myanmar’s biggest banks with 511 branches across the country. On Monday it was declared Myanmar’s largest taxpayer for the sixth year running.