Kenyan firm uses IT to curb cash theft

February 23, 2010
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, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 23- A local cash management business KK Lodgit Limited (KKL) has introduced a raft of technological solutions to deter theft cases of cash in transit.

A subsidiary of KK Security (KK), the firm has deployed GPS technology on all it Cash-in-Transit (CIT) vehicles, which are fitted with remote immobilisation devices, panic buttons, Smokecloak – a glycol based smoke generator – and effective locking mechanisms.

“It is our belief that successful and secure Cash-in-Transit business is one that is people driven and supported by proven technology. As KK Lodgit, we have a set of technology solutions which ensure secure end to end carriage of cash and reduce risk,” said KKL Executive Director James Omwando.

The initiative to introduce the technology, which uses smoke and dye to deface the currency and makes it worthless, follows an amendment in the Central Bank of Kenya Act, which allows for defacement of Kenya currency, an aspect that was considered unlawful prior to the amendment.

The scale of Cash-in-Transit attacks in the country which has seen several million of shillings lost has become a major concern for the industry. The rise in such cases recently saw the government direct that the number of Administration Police escorting cash in transit be increased from three to four. This directive, industry players say, will push the cost to security firms by up to 25 percent.

Mr Omwando was however optimistic that the new technology would help reduce the cost in the long term.

“The use of this technology will eliminate the police chase cars, leaving only the vehicle with the cash. This will reduce costs incurred by banks in transporting cash from one point to another.”

At a media briefing, the director said the vast majority of incidents involving theft from Cash in Transit vehicles have been perpetrated by staff working within the CIT Companies, supported by outside criminal forces and ineffective technology, which criminals have successfully exploited to their advantage.

However, he was of the view that regular and repeated background vetting of all staff that have access to cash in the system coupled with improved command and control structures within the CIT companies and the vehicle control satellite technologies would reduce theft incidents in the sector.

“It is critical that we employ the right people and when satisfied with them, implement professional training courses which, together with fair treatment and effective communications, can create an atmosphere whereby the temptation to perpetrate a robbery is diminished,” he added.

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