SINGAPORE: A manhunt is underway at Holland Village, as police investigate a robbery that took place at Standard Chartered Bank on Thursday (Jul 7) morning.
Channel NewsAsia understands that the suspect made off with S$30,000 from the Standard Chartered branch, and was not armed at the time.
The branch was closed after the incident. The bank said it filed a police report immediately, and is working with the police on investigations. "We would like to highlight that the safety of our customers and staff is top priority and our branch staff are all well-trained to react to such situations," StanChart said in a statement.
Police earlier confirmed that they are investigating a robbery at the bank which took place at 11.25am.
When Channel NewsAsia arrived at the scene at around 2pm, the area was cordoned off and police officers were seen inside the bank.
A Mediacorp hotline caller said police officers had stopped him and asked if he had seen a Caucasian male wearing a cap.
Eyewitnesses told Channel NewsAsia that as many as 15 police cars were outside the bank after the incident.
Ms Yolande Dick, a teacher, said she was turned away from the branch. "I came down to take some money out as I am going overseas," she said. "There was a man standing outside the gated-off area and he told me that the bank was closed. He didn't say till what time but I'm sure it's going to be a long process for them to investigate."
Security officer Benny Bek, who works across the road from Holland Village said he knew something was wrong when he saw "five or six" police cars. "I was going for my lunch break at around noon and wanted to buy a drink from the Holland Village market. I thought it was a terrorist attack at first but then I saw the news online and realised it was a robbery," he said.
At about 3pm, officers were seen extending the cordon to the neighbouring HSBC bank branch and the Park @ Holland Village cafe.
Police presence was also seen along Jalan Rumia and Jalan Merah Saga in the Chip Bee Gardens estate across the road from the bank.
An eyewitness, Dr Ang Seng Bin, was on his way to Chip Bee Gardens for some dessert on his day off. He said he counted at least 10 police cars as he drove by the area. He said: "At 1.30pm, when I was walking over to the Holland Village side, I saw that the whole area (around Standard Chartered Bank) had been cordoned off. Shortly after that, when I went back to my car which was on the Chip Bee side, I saw the police knocking on the doors of the landed houses".
Some plainclothes policemen were seen going through bins along Jalan Rumia.
Bank robberies are rare in Singapore. In November 2008, a man dressed as a woman attempted to rob a United Overseas Bank branch at City Plaza on Geylang Road.