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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bank loses 50 lakhs cash ~employee of Security Firm allegedly stole !!

Till a couple of decades ago, the salary day represented the most awaited day of the month – on that day morning each Office would draw cash from Bank [Insurance coverage for cash in transit drawn for wages – from the Bank premises to the Insured premises and extending to cover that unpaid cash that remained in the cashier’s till or office locker]. The smell of hard currency, especially a new note would enthuse many.  There were some who relished the salary cover taking it home and starting the month only after some offering to God out of the earned salary; there were some who started their expenses with a savings and there were some who had their covers re-written to narrate a different tale back home !!

Now a days, not all establishments handle huge amounts of cash –  the hard currency could be - cash drawn for payment wages, salaries, petty cash; business collections taken for depositing into bank and more. This is exposed to perils of fire, burglary, snatching, hijack, robberies, armed dacoity & more…. Remember Mani Ratnam’s hit film ‘the plot was the stealing of fresh printed bank notes of an incredible 1000 crores value from a train by the henchmen.’ ………..

Many individuals and Organisations do not have elaborate plans for cash handling.  Mostly the lower level staff handle cash taking it  through bustling highways, crowded streets –– in olden days in  bicycle and then in two wheelers, putting them in their side boxes – sporadically, loss of cash by diverting their attention, stealthily taking away from the box, snatching and even threat at knife point would get reported.  Some Companies appoint  professional security Firms who have well trained staff, good fleet of vehicles, armed guards and so on, depending upon the amount involved.

Insurers have a Policy covering Cash – whilst inside the premises (in safe) and whilst in transit. Most well drawn policies would specify at least one end of coverage – could be from the premises to bank and vice versa; between various premises; from collection centres to premises and various other possible combinations. Besides, there could be singular transaction / movement of huge amount of money. Many a times, banks carry huge amounts of money from their chest to their branches and for replenishing ATMs

The Insurance premium would generally be calculated on the value of transactions throughout the year and would have a single carriage limit, mode, manner and some details of armed guards accompanying etc.,

I had earlier written about the experience of a Trichy based jeweller during Aug 2008. They were transporting 3.72 crores ($ 826666 @ 45); the vehicle was stopped in a place near Veppur by somebody posing as police cop; the occupants were forced to open the door, they were tied and pushed into the vehicle. Cash was shifted to another vehicle and assailants fled away. TN Police could break this case and arrest all the culprits involved (including two employees) and recovered 1.50 crores in a swift operation.

Today’s The Hindu, Bangalore edition  reports of a 50 lakh loss ~and the culprit is an employee of a Security firm employed by the Bank.

The Hindu reports that Bangalore City police have launched a massive search for the 21-year-old who has allegedly fled with Rs. 50 lakh from a cash van on Wednesday afternoon. The cash was to be deposited in ATM kiosks across the city. The suspect, Mahesh, is a resident of Nandini Layout. He joined Brinks Arya Pvt. Ltd., a private security firm that handles transfer of money to ATM kiosks and banks in the city, on Monday as a junior supervisor. On Wednesday afternoon, he was in a vehicle that left from the firm's office in Anepalya with Rs. one crore to be loaded in a few ATM kiosks.

En route, the vehicle halted at IndusInd Bank, Centenary Building, MG Road to collect cash. The supervisor, Manjunath, and security guard, Muthanna, went inside the bank to pick up the money. Before that, Manjunath handed over the key of the cash box in the van to Mahesh. The vehicle has a separate driver's cabin. At that time, Mahesh was sitting in the other cabin, which has a metal grill. He walked out of the vehicle with a backpack telling the driver that he was going to relieve himself. When Manjunath and Muthanna returned, Mahesh was missing and his mobile phone was switched off. Alarmed, Manjunath checked the cash box and realised that five of the 10 packets of Rs. 10 lakh each were missing.

The driver, Prabhu, later told the police that he heard Mahesh opening the cash box and even questioned him. Mahesh allegedly replied he was checking the lock of the cash box before he went out. Ulsoor police have registered a case under Section 408 of the IPC (criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant) and Section 420 (cheating). Police have questioned Mahesh's family members. His father works as an auto driver in the city.

Huge volume of cash lures people ~and perhaps the Security Agency had not done its homework on checking the credentials of its people properly.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Oct 2015.

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