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October 18, 2013

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Finance school graduate became a bank robber

A FINANCE school graduate with money problems pleaded guilty yesterday to holding up a Shanghai bank with a knife.

Wan Guangdao, admitted at Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court to robbing a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and taking 100,000 yuan (US$16,380).

The court heard Wan held a knife to the throat of a customer as he demanded cash.

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old graduate of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics decided to rob a bank as he was 60,000 yuan overdrawn on his two credit accounts.

But Wan, from the northeastern Shandong Province, also cited other factors and expressed hopes of a lighter sentence.

“My girlfriend broke up with me at the beginning of this year and I’ve been totally depressed since,” he said.

The court heard Wan went to an ICBC branch on Zhangjiang Road in the Pudong New Area about 9am on April 10. 

In a VIP room, he covered a customer’s mouth and held a knife to her throat.

He told a clerk to put money into a bag and then walked out as the alarm rang.

Wan posed as a customer in the crowd and attempted to walk away, the court heard.

However, he was recognized by bank staff who chased after him, joined by members of the public.

At one point, Wan fell and was surrounded by his pursuers. But brandishing his knife to keep them at bay, he managed to escape again.

During the chase, he put the bag of cash through the open window of a passing car before continuing to flee.

Wan got into a taxi on Guanglan Road and escaped.

He was caught at 12:05am the next day when police raided his home in a residential area on Zhangdong Road.

Wan told the court he knew while fleeing that what he’d done was wrong, which was why he’d dumped the money.

His lawyer argued that this was a bid to undo the crime.

The lawyer also presented a letter signed by 43 university classmates, vouching for Wan.

“I received lots of praise when I was growing up, which made me remain immature,” Wan said at the end of the hearing.

“I’ve regretted a lot during my six-month detention and hope the hearing can give me a lighter penalty.”

The court didn’t announce a verdict yesterday.



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