The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), on behalf of the banking industry remains concerned with the number of bank clients that fall victim to cash robberies daily. These incidents increased by 4% from 2015 to 2016, with 695 incidents reported so far in 2017. Bank client cash losses for 2017 from January to June amounted to R21 million.
Associated robberies are not limited to urban areas, but also occur in rural towns across South Africa. The Eastern Cape saw the largest increase (48%) from 2015 to 2016. From 2017 January to June, Gauteng has shown the highest number of incidents (382) followed by KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State.
Tragically, from 2014 to June 2017, SABRIC recorded 27 fatalities and 69 injuries due to cash robberies. The modus operandi usually sees the perpetrators follow a victim to their residence, place of work, or any other place where it is easy to rob them. In addition to being verbally abusive, robbers will resort to violence if necessary, particularly if the victim resists. In most robberies, robbers are armed with handguns.
Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC says, “It is shocking that bank clients, who are the victims of these crimes, are killed and injured during these robberies. This is why we encourage bank customers to find safer ways to transact instead of carrying large amounts of cash.”
Not only do these criminals target individuals, but they are also target business owners who deposit or withdraw large amounts of cash.
The modus operandi using a spotter is quite prevalent. “Spotters” are individuals who enter the bank purporting to be clients, and will even queue to give the impression that they are bank clients. Their sole purpose is to identify victims who have made a cash withdrawal. They communicate the victims’ description to accomplices who wait outside the bank. These accomplices then follow the victim and rob them of their cash.
In addition, Stokvels are also at risk. From 2014 to June 2017, 50 Stokvel robbery incidents were reported, with 82% of incidents occurring during November and December 2016 due to the festive season. Of these incidents 54% occurred in Gauteng and 24% in KwaZulu-Natal.
While we hope for more investigations to be completed, followed by successful prosecutions, we are pleased with a particular conviction this year, where four accused received life sentences, with an additional 15 to 20 years. Kalyani Pillay says, “Thanks to collaboration between the South African Police Service, the Prosecuting Authority and the Banking Industry, these criminals are being brought to book.”
Kalyani urges bank clients to be vigilant about paying attention to their surroundings, even when inside a bank. Clients can protect themselves, and reduce the risk of becoming a victim by following the tips below:
Tips for Individuals
Tips for Businesses
Tips for Stokvel Groupings
For more information go to www.sabric.co.za
To arrange for interviews with SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay, contact:
Media and Communications Manager
Tel: +27 11 847 3134
Cell: 082 070 5349
Notes to Editors:
SABRIC is a NPF company formed by South African banks to support the banking industry in the combating of crime. SABRIC’s clients are South African banks and major CIT companies. Its principle business is to detect, prevent and reduce organised crime in the banking industry through effective public private partnerships. SABRIC co-ordinates inter-bank activities aimed at addressing organised bank related financial and violent crime and acts as a nodal point between the banking industry and others, in respect of issues relating to crime. The creation of public awareness of various bank related crimes and educating the public on how to protect themselves is one of SABRIC’s key focus areas. For more on SABRIC visit www.sabric.co.za