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Asia CommentTaipan

Cashing in on a liquid lunch

I love a good story about the days gone by. I remember when liquid lunches were not just accepted but encouraged. My best ideas often came after downing martinis over a long lunch. But a recent story from Australia makes my wild days of boozy work meals look quite tame.

A 70-year-old ex-stock trader pleaded guilty last month to a string of bank robberies that took place in the late 1970s. The chap only got caught 40 years later, after detectives employed new technology to track down cold case perpetrators.

The explanation behind the old man's armed robbery spree must have made it hard for investigators to keep a straight face.

He said that in his 20s, he would "get boozed at lunch time" and rob different banks during his lunch hour. He used hats and fake moustaches as disguises, and, to top it off, carried a water pistol to get the job done. He chap would then dump the disguises and walk back to the office to finish his day at work. He has been charged with stealing nearly $13,000 altogether — definitely less than what he would have received from his end of year bonuses!

The court reports that the senior thief told the detectives: "Those were boozy days… everyone would drink at lunch time."

While I can certainly relate to his memories of drinking his meal, I don't remember anyone coming up with a scheme as outrageous as an armed robbery. Most of us just wanted to take naps in our offices after lunch, or perhaps extend our revelries into the afternoon. Perhaps Hong Kong wasn't as much of the Wild West as I always thought it to be!

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