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Argentine lawmakers OK laws against bank attacks

Argentine lawmakers OK laws against bank attacks

Argentina's politicians are taking action against a plague of "withdrawal robberies," in which gunmen on motorcycles work with lookouts inside bank branches to attack people who take out cash.
The lower house of Congress late Wednesday unanimously approved a series of security measures that banks will have to impose, such as signals to block cell phone communications, more security cameras and dividing walls so that people waiting in line can't see what clients do at teller windows. Now the measures go to Argentina's Senate.
Meanwhile, the Buenos Aires legislature approved a law making it illegal for motorcyclists to carry passengers in the center of downtown during banking hours. They also have to wear a reflective vest imprinted with their license plate number so they can be more easily identified.
Argentines have been outraged by the robberies, which have grown to 5,000 during the first half of this year _ more than 27 a day _ according to security expert Luis Vicat, who has been keeping track.
Some lawmakers called the measures insufficient because they don't address the core problem _ Argentina's underground economy. More than 40 percent of the country's money flows off the books so that it can be hidden from tax agents. The government has tried to combat tax evasion by imposing costly taxes on many aspects of keeping or moving money. All of this combines to make transferring money electronically too difficult and costly for many people to consider.


Updated : 2021-04-15 17:00 GMT+08:00