John Awuah, the President of the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), has provided an explanation to the delays in procuring armoured bullion vans for Cash in Transit (CIT) operations in the country, despite the rise in robbery incidence involving cash in transit operations.
Mr John Awuah disclosed that the processes required to procure the armoured vehicles are cumbersome, hence causing the delay.
“To bring in an armoured van into this country, you have to go through a certain process. You have to make sure that in the end, the people who have the mandate to bring in these armoured vehicles, do not pose a threat to national security.”John Awuah
The GAB President asserted that the association does not want to create problems for the authorities. He thus, assured all stakeholders that, the armoured vehicles will be in the country sooner than later.
“Because they want to solve one problem, they go and create another problem, that is the only reason why we have had some delays in the procurement process. But in a very short time, you will find them [armoured] in our streets. We will have the requisite, standardized armoured vehicles for the CIT operations.”John Awuah
In the intervening time, the decision to procure the armoured bullion vans and bullet proof vests for the Police follows the increasing robbery attacks on bullion vans and the killing of the Police Officers providing the escort.
Rise in Bullion Van Attack
Recently, the Tarkwa Police Divisional Command arrested two persons in connection with the robbery on a bullion van that occurred at Ransbet Supermarket on Monday, October 18, 2021, in the Tarkwa Municipality.
The suspects, Charles Enning and Dorcas Akosua Amankwah, both workers of Mon-Trans Limited are assisting in the investigation, following a suspicion of their complicity in the crime.
Preliminary investigations revealed that suspects, Charles Enning, a driver and Dorcas Akosua Amankwah, a teller of the Mon-Trans Limited, went to Ransbet Supermarket branch of the company for proceeds made over the weekend to be deposited at the bank. However, in a bizarre turn of events, they failed to pick up the Police Officer, who was detailed to provide security for them.
In the process of putting the money into the bullion van, the suspects were attacked by masked armed men who bolted with the money on a standby motorbike.
It can be recalled that, in June this year, 2021, there was a robbery attack on a bullion van that led to the killing of a police officer and another person in Jamestwon Accra.
Commenting on the development at the time, the Interior Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery stated that “…What we call bullion vehicles in Ghana are just ordinary vehicles with plates on them which are not armoured.
“They don’t give the police and the cash any protection, and so, it is easy for bullets to go through them. So, they are not bullion vans.”Ambrose Dery
Mr Ambrose Dery mentioned that the Police Service has taken steps to protect the police men and women when they go on such operations, by providing them a number of bulletproof vest and helmets.
“The first consignment that came in, about 4000 of them came in just before we experienced the deaths of a number of policemen in these past few years. The police officers were encouraged because we then issued those vests for them and also made provision for them to carry side weapons to protect themselves.”Ambrose Dery
However, the procurement of the armoured vehicles will be an added safety enhancement to the Ghana Police Service.