By Ryan Velez
Immigrants come to this country with hopes of building a better life, but one man’s dreams became a nightmare in one of the worst ways possible, with ABC7 reporting that he was robbed of nearly $200,000 in cash in the Bronx.
The robbery happened Tuesday, November 7, in the lobby of an apartment building near East 169th Street and Prospect Avenue in the Morrisania section of The Bronx. The victim, Abdoul Beh told Eyewitness News he had just moved to the area from West Africa. He said he saved the money over time because he wanted to open a restaurant on the Lower East Side, mostly from the sale of his home in Guinea. He was on the way to pay construction bills with a partner, and had the money in a bag.
According to authorities, a man in a black Adidas jacket walked up the stairs past Beh and grabbed his bag, dragging him up the stairs. An accomplice allegedly ran up from behind and tackled the victim, before snatching the bag and running out the front door. Beh notes that one of the suspects dropped his phone, and police currently have it as evidence. There may be an element of pre-planning involved, as Beh recalls that he was specifically asked "where is the money?" and that it seemed like the suspects went right for the bag that had the money in it. But he said he did not know his attackers.
For many people, none of this addresses the elephant in the room: why on Earth would someone walk around with that much cash? While it may present a security risk, for Beh, it was the only option. He said he was unable to open a US bank account, which is why he was carrying the cash. This is a reality for many immigrants, who may not have the proper documentation or financial backing to go through the financial channels to open an account. As a result, cash is the only way to go. If it is true that people were aware of this and targeted him for the money, this is just one example of the many issues immigrants have to go through that we rarely think of.