JOHANNESBURG – In the first half of 2017, 695 bank clients lost about 1.6 million U.S. dollars as a result of cash robberies in South Africa, the South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC) said on Wednesday.
At a media briefing in Johannesburg, Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC said, from 2014 to June 2017, SABRIC recorded 27 fatalities and 69 injuries due to cash robberies. There was an increase of 4 per cent from 2015 to 2016 in the number of bank clients who fall victim to cash robberies.
“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,” said Pillay.
He said the criminals enter the bank purporting to be clients and even queue to give the impression that they are clients while identifying potential victims.
The perpetrators follow a victim to their residence, place of work, or any other place where it is easy to rob them. Criminals target individuals and business owners who deposit or withdraw large amounts of cash.
“Individuals should carry as little cash as possible and consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically. They should also consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or Automated Teller Machines to do your banking,” said Pillay.
People are also advised not to have routine times of going to the banks, and they should avoid carrying moneybags, briefcases or openly displaying their deposit receipt book. The business people were also advised to pay their casual employees through the banks, he added.