Thursday, November 30, 2023

Gov’t blames ATM bombings on banks’ security lapses

Government has blamed commercial banks for failing to put up strict security measures amid increasing spate of ATM bombings across the country.

The Minister of Defence and Security Kagiso Mmusi told this publication that even though they too have the responsibility to assist through patrols, the bulk of the responsibility should be apportioned to banks for failing to tighten their security features.

He stated that banks should have also long abandoned their mobile ATMs as they are vulnerable to bombings.

“When banks install ATMs they should take up the responsibility by putting security around it but I have not seen that and it should be known that it is not the responsibility of the police to guard these ATM’s,” he said.

The Minister further highlighted that government continues to play its own role as evidenced by increased number of police personnel, road blocks and through a decision to arm them.

“I should also admit that we do not have enough police personnel because we also have many other criminal activities to deal with,” said Mmusi.

He stated that government, private security companies and private companies are in talks to come up with a permanent solution to these crimes.

“I want to assure you and the public that whenever government can intervene, we intervene and we shall continue to put up more patrols,” said Mmusi.

The Minister ruled out any possibility of arming private security companies adding that this will create gun violence in the country.

“We are still benchmarking and I want to believe that a permanent solution will be found soon, it is just a matter of time,” he said.

Last year government announced that over P13 million in cash had been stolen in the spate of the recent cash-in-transit robberies.

Mmusi explained that most of these armed robbers are targeting Cash in Transit (CIT) vehicles transporting cash to the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and businesses, and usually pounce on the security guards when they reach their destinations.

He also confirmed that these crimes were mostly committed by locals collaborating with those from South Africa (SA), some of whom have already been arrested.


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