Money on the move proves easy pickings for ATM thieves

Money on the move proves easy pickings for ATM thieves

Money on the move proves easy pickings for ATM thieves

Increasing cases of thefts of cash boxes belonging to banks, on their way to ATMs, has posed a big challenge to the City police.

The police say huge sums of money are a temptation that the securitymen and those carrying them cannot resist.

“The thieves get huge money if their plan works out and it will be difficult for the police to track them,” says Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) T Sunil Kumar.       

“Such cases are being recorded at regular intervals. Last week boxes containing Rs 65 lakh were stolen in Hulimavu. The driver of a vehicle with Rs 39 lakh in cash, to be loaded into ATM machines, absconded with the money and the vehicle from Vidyaranyapura in Gangammanagudi on July 27. A gang of around 10 persons carrying arms attacked a van transporting Rs 1.91 crore, belonging to the Corporation Bank and meant for loading into ATMs, and fled with the cash boxes on May 14. These incidents have raised questions over the safety of the money bound for ATMs,” said a senior police officer.

The police point out that lack of security measures, violation of norms and negligence on
the part of the security agencies had encouraged small-time thieves and gangsters to target such vehicles. The banks enter into agreements with the security agencies to transport cash and load it in the ATM counters. As per norms, the staff of the security agencies and those of the banks should carry the cash boxes. The security agencies have their own vehicles to transport cash, but sometimes hire private vehicles.

“We have issued strict guidelines to the banks. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also issued guidelines, but they have been neglected,” said Sunil Kumar.        

Security agencies never bother to check the antecedents of the drivers of private vehicles, assigned the job to transport money. Staff of the security agencies and banks were involved in a few of the incidents, say the police.

The norms strictly identify routes for the vehicles transporting the money. The drivers should not deviate from these routes. In most cases, the driver deviated from the given routes to help the thieves.

“They deviate and take the vehicles to desolate areas, so that the thieves can abscond, along with the cash boxes,” says an officer.

The police say it is neither the banks nor the security agencies, but the insurance companies that suffer. The banks have insurance for the cash boxes that are being transported, says the officer.

As per the contract norms, sub-leasing is strictly prohibited. A few security agencies sub-lease the transportation of money. It was the agency, which had got the sub-lease, that was involved in the theft of Rs 1.91 crore in R T Nagar earlier this year.

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