In the beginning it was banker suicides. Then about two weeks ago, suicides were replaced by outright murders after the execution-style killing of the CEO of a bank in otherwise sleepy (and tax evasive) Lichtenstein by a disgruntled client. Then on Friday news hit of another execution-type murder in just as sleepy, if not so tax evasive, Belgium, where in the city of Vise, a 37-year-old Director at BNP Paribas Fortis was murdered alongside his wife and a 9 year old nephew in a premeditated and orchestrated drive-by shooting.
According to Marcel Neven, Mayor of Vise, nothing can yet explain what caused the violent shooting that rocked the neighborhood sports hall of his town this Friday, April 18, late at night. A man of 37 years, Benedict Philippens, bank manager Ans-Saint-Nicolas, was shot. A little 9 year old boy, living in Dolhain, was also killed. A lady, the wife of the man and the boy aunt and godmother, Carol Haid, 37 also died of his injuries on Saturday, in the morning. She was hit by three bullets in the back, said a judicial source.
According to information from the survey and some witnesses, a car waiting outside their house Berneau street near the sports hall Visé. When the victims' car is back in the driveway, shots were fired from the car that waited patiently. The author of the shots is actively sought.
So far neither the shooter nor any motive for the execution have not been found: "Some suggest the presence of a single gunman with an automatic pistol, others are surprised that a bullet hole was noted in one of the windows of the sports hall. "That would mean that the author was already in the driveway of the house and waited for the victims side of the house," says a source close to the case."
Like in the Lichtenstein murder, there is a possibility the murder was the result of a previous argument with a customer:
This Sunday, the investigation is ongoing but it seems that the track of reckoning is preferred. In 7Dimanche newspaper, a friend of Benedict recalls that he had a big argument with a customer six months ago. He had even threatened the director publicly. He then had to put on the door. "There are six months, he told me he had a big argument with a foreign client."
Needless to say the locals of the quiet town are stunned by the news:
According to the neighbors, "the couple lived for 5 or 6 years" in his little house. They had been married a little over a year. The neighborhood shocked again that it is a normal family. "Usually, shootings in the region, it is often stories of drug with the Dutch, because it is not far from the border."
The mayor did not say more about the possible causes of this unfortunate news item. He noted, however, that the occupation of the victim, banker, "perhaps could" be related to drama. Marcel Neven adds that this is the first time in his back as mayor he faced such violence in a crime. "The police arrived on the scene Friday night was very impressed to see the body there in the driveway."
So just like in the Lichtenstein murder, was it truly some atrocious act by bankers that caused their clients to take justice into their own hands, or is it becoming the norm that when dealing with members of the banker class, the population - disenchanted with a legal system that is largely in the pocket of the financial system - is increasingly resorting to not only vigilante justice, but the taking of banker lives with no regard for innocent bystanders?
If indeed so, this could mark a dramatic, and lethal, escalation in the way bankers are treated by the broader public, not only in places where banker revulsion is palpable but in quiet, sleepy backwaters like a small Belgium town.