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September 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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No casualties were reported in the robbery that happened at Bank South Pacific's Samabula branch at 1.45pm today.

The five masked men who were heavily armed crashed a white van, registration FX975, into the bank and made off with two boxes of undisclosed cash.

The van was later found abandoned in Toorak.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro could neither confirm nor deny that the five are the same men that escaped from the Naboro Prison Monday.

Ilisapeci Ligalave, 26, a cleaner at the bank said the robbery happened within seconds and likened it to “what we see in movies.”

“And to witness it in person is very dangerous and shocking,” Ligalave said.

The robbery happened when most staff members were on lunch break and she was doing her round of cleaning in the bank.

She said the five men arrived in a white van all dressed in black and armed with cane knives, broken bottles, and hammers.

“They were all dressed in black clothes, big black jackets, masks, and big cane knives. After I saw the cane knives, I was looking for a way to escape.”

“The van came close to the bank, drove towards the opposite side of the road reversed and hit the wall between the ATM machines and the glass walls. It happened so fast that within seconds they had driven off towards Rewa Street.”

A woman selling dalo on the roadside escaped unhurt and is being questioned at the Samabula Police station.

A taxi driver, who was also at the scene said it was fortunate school children were not out at the time.

He said one of the robbers spread nails on the road to try and prevent any attempts of a car chase.

The five have been linked to the spate of robberies on Monday night and early yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, there were also "little incidents" reported to have happened this afternoon around the city, one of which happened in one of the offices along  Cumming Street, but Naisoro denies that it involved the same five men from the BSP bank robbery.

"Investigations are still continuing. There are also reports that the five are the escapees from Naboro Prison, but we can't confirm that. We are trying to ascertain if that is so, but at the moment, we can't because the men were heavily masked when they robbed the bank."

By Ropate Valemei

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