By Farah Waleed.
Benghazi, 10 September 2014:
The kidnapping of Gumhouriya Bank Manger Bushafa Al-Amari in Benghazi resulted in the . . .[restrict]closure of banks across the city yesterday and sparked protests by bank employees over deteriorating security conditions.
Gumhouriya Bank has publicly condemned the abduction. It is understood that the kidnappers have asked Amari’s family for a ransom of LD 10 million.
Employees at the bank protested in front of its main branch as a result of the kidnapping, calling on the House of Representatives and Benghazi Municipal Council to ensure the safe return of their colleague.
The staff said the bank’s branches in the east country, and not just in Benghazi, would remain closed until Amari was freed. They called on their colleague’s kidnappers to consider Amari’s family and friends, adding that he is just an employee, not the owner of the bank.
Benghazi has been plagued by almost daily kidnappings for the last year. Military and police officials have been the principle targets of abductions although bank employees and lawyers have also been taken hostage.
Such financially motivated kidnappings have become commonplace and with so many incidents going unreported, families have often paid, albeit only a fraction of initially inflated ransom demands, for the safe return of their loved ones.