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Angry bank customer kills branch manager

Date Posted: 2004-06-17

An elderly customer went into rage at a Naha City bank early this week, taking his anger to violence which ultimately killed the man trying to help him.

The incident took place at Ryukyu Bank’s Aja Branch, where a customer began stabbing the bank manager, Masatoshi Miyagi, during a complaint session. Miyagi died at a local hospital hours after the incident.

The longtime customer, 75-year-old Saburo Takara, routinely complained to bank officials that someone was tampering with his savings account, taking money without his permission. “Why has my money gone from my savings account? Someone has been withdrawing without my notice. Why is that? Someone took my money. Explain it to me.

Twice, bank officials say, they did explain it to him. The June 14th visit was the third time they’d explained it to Takara. Branch Manager Miyagi, 54, took Takara to a customer service area and began talking.

Apparently unhappy with the bank’s answers, Takara became upset, taking a knife he’d had wrapped inside a newspaper and attacking. He stabbed Miyagi in the chest.

A bank guard heard the commotion and raced into the room, catching Takara in the act. As he was apprehended, Takara was still complaining that the bank “stole my money.” Police and an ambulance were called, and the customer arrested.

Miyagi was taken to a hospital, suffering a 10 centimeter deep, three centimeter wide injury. He died less than six hours after the attack.

Takara insists that the bank systematically allowed money to be taken from his savings account without his permission, and kept demanding explanations. Ryukyu Bank officials say “the Manager did explain to Saburo, and we thought Saburo did understand everything.

That, apparently, was not the case. The owner of a small book store near Aja Elementary School, Takara liked children and they enjoyed being with him. He was called the nice guy. He had no family and was living by himself near the bank. He had had the savings account all his life.

Officials say they are not aware of any unauthorized withdrawals from the savings account.

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