Armed attack on currency exchange office in Astana
An unknown man has attacked acurrency exchange office at the intersection of Kenesary and Republic streets in Astana on August 17 at 5.30 a.m., Tengrinews reports citing the manager of Bailyk Finance company that owns a number of currency exchange offices around the city, including this one.
“Today (August 17) at 5.30 a.m., a young thin man of medium height knocked on the window. He then started beating the window open while the cashier tried to shut the window. Then, she took a currency counting machine and tried to block the window with it. It was when he started shooting an air gun. When criminalists arrived, they first began collecting small balls, and then took fingerprints,” she shared the details.
After the man started shooting, the cashier hid under the table and managed to call the security.
Later she said that the man demanded that she handed him rubles. The intruder managed to take around 2,000 rubles away with him.
The currency exchange office is located at the very center of the city's right bank part.
The Department of Internal Affairs of Astana confirmed the information. "On August 17 at around 6:00 a.m., an unknown man attacked the currency exchange office located on the Republic Avenue, fired several shots from a pneumatic gun, breaking the window. He then fled the scene. An employee of the exchange office was not injured," they said.
Two patrol police crew were sent to the crime scene.
A criminal case was opened under the article Hooliganism of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan.
After some fieldwork police arrested a suspect, a 22-year-old resident of Akmola Oblast, the same day. He confessed. The police found and sized the evidences. He is now in the city's temporary detention jail.
The company's manager said that this was not the first time a currency exchange office in that part of this city was assaulted. "One of our security guards was attacked and stabbed seven months ago," Aliya Salybekova said.
People are often robbed near currency exchange offices on the Republic Avenue, she said. "People's bags and phones are often stolen. Windows of our clients' cars are often broken," Salybekova added. The company even sent a letter to the Department of Internal Affairs asking them to find a permanent solution to the problem.
By Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina