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How NIB teller forgot to lock money in vault on day robbers stormed bank at night

BY: Della Russel Ocloo

The Tema Community One District Police Command has initiated investigations into circumstances surrounding how a bank teller at the Tema main branch of the National Investment Bank (NIB), forgot to lock-up cash of GH¢35,520 in the vault on a day robbers broke into the banking hall at night.

The teller [name withheld] is said to have left the cash wrapped in a polythene bag near her desk and went home on Saturday, April 7, 2019, at about 4 pm.

Similarly, circumstances surrounding how a security officer, also discovered the GH¢35,520 which had been left behind, picked and hid it in the boot of a vehicle belonging to the bank and failed to inform his supervisor is also to be investigated.

Eventually, when the robbers managed to sneak into the banking hall, that same night, they did not find any money and fled empty-handed before they could be apprehended when another security officer spotted them.

The robbers broke into the banking hall on Sunday, April 7 at 2:15 am, according to the police.

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Security man arrested

The day security officer, [name withheld] has since been arrested and in police custody.

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Similarly, the bank teller, has also since been arrested and granted a police enquiry bail.

Police briefing

The Tema Community One District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Stephen Kwasi Kwakye told Graphic Online that police were trying to unravel the circumstances that led to the attempted robbery at the bank.

The police commander said the security officer was being investigated to establish why he failed to notify his superiors about the amount of money he discovered on the teller’s desk during a routine check-up at the banking hall on Saturday, April 6, 2019, after the bank had closed.

Robbers

Four suspected robbers were said to have stormed the bank on the said date after successfully breaking in through the bank staff exit in the back of the building.

They reportedly used a scaffold to shift the position of the surveillance closed circuit television (CCTV) camera installed at the back in an attempt to ensure that the camera does not record their activity.

The robbers, according to the District Police Commander, could not take away any money from the bank.

A night security officer was said to have found them and raised an alarm which attracted the attention of the armed policeman who was also on duty at the bank.

The robbers, however, fled by managing to jump the fence wall which had electric wires on top and escaped arrest.

Chief Superintendent Kwakye said the bank staff, who is a head teller at the branch was on duty on Saturday, April 6, 2019 and after close of work, she failed to lodge in an amount of GH¢35,520 being collections from lotto operators in the main vault although she had in her possession, the keys to the vault.

The teller, according to the police claimed she forgot and left the money on her desk including a key to her drawer in the bank, where she also keeps the vault key.

She reportedly closed and left the bank at 4 pm on the said day.

He said a day security officer, whilst on routine check-up after all staff had left claimed to have discovered the money wrapped in a polythene bag near the teller’s desk.

“[name withheld] claimed he took the money, counted it and out of confusion, went to hide it in the boot of one of the bank’s vehicles parked at the premises, after which he locked up the bank and surrendered the key to his supervisor, Mr Christian Agu to be taken to the police station,” Chief Supt Kwakye stated.

The Commander explained that although the thieves were unsuccessful in their attempt to rob the bank, initial investigations sought to suggest that they might have had some insider information which armed them to launch the attack.

He claimed that similar incidents with same modus operandi had been recorded within the Meridian enclave with six financial institutions suffering same, hence the police’s determination to get to the bottom of this particular case.

“Presently, we have asked the bank to provide us with the CCTV footage to aid our investigations into the matter,” Chief Supt Kwakye stated.

He told Graphic Online that the police want to go for a court order to enable the police to check the bank's balance before and after the incident.

Also, the phones of the teller and security officer have been sent to the police headquarters in Accra to check their call records within the period of the incident.

The teller who said she has been working at the bank for the past 13 years told Graphic Online she completely forgot about the money after it had earlier been handed over to her by a colleague who went for the collection.

According to her, she only remembered leaving the money behind after a telephone call from her boss about the break-in.

“Usually, monies collected on weekends are kept safe in the vault and only keyed into the system the following Monday since that is the norm”, she said.

Her intention, she said was to deposit the money in the vault after close of work, however, “I entirely forgot because I had so much to do that day and when I realised it was time to close, I quickly cleared my desk and left for home to enable me to attend to my children,” she said.