CBK reacts to Kenya cash theft

November 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is in the process of establishing cash centres in all major towns in the country to minimise the cash transfers from individual banks to its units which exposes such funds to high risks.

Officials at the CBK said the cash centres would enable banks to submit their returns within their areas of operation, without necessarily having to ferry money to CBK units.

A series of high level meetings held at the CBK headquarters in Nairobi on Monday concluded that there was urgent need to establish the centres in the wake of increased theft involving Cash-In-Transit (CIT).

“We want to minimise such cases by limiting the distance of money transfers from individual banks to the CBK units,” a senior officer at the CBK said.

“By putting up such centres, banks will be able to transport money at close of business every day within minimum distance and in the morning when they need to collect money from CBK.”

Currently, some banks which are established in towns where there are no CBK units engage the services of CIT security firms to transport money in long distances, an issue CBK has increasingly shown concern.

“They will act more as CBK branches responsible for cash returns for banks in their jurisdictions,” he said.

Nyeri, Kisii and Nakuru have been identified as some of the regions which urgently require cash centres.

“It is a priority issue which will be tackled as soon as possible. Already plans are in top gear,” the source said.

Selected teams have been carrying out visibility studies to identify premises where the cash centres will be established, the source added.

With the establishments of such cash centres, CBK will need to hire more personnel to be deployed to various parts of the country where the centres will be put up.

“Of course those are job opportunities but so far the recruiting process has not started,” the source said.

Banks are also reportedly concerned about the increased cases of thefts by Administration Police who allegedly collude with security firms’ personnel to steal money they are detailed to secure.

Within the past two months, over Sh50 million have been stolen in two separate robberies involving CIT by G4S personnel, one of the reputed security companies in the world.

The first incident in September when security guards and Administration Police officers allegedly colluded to steal Sh25 million they had been entrusted with to replenish Automated Teller Machines in Nairobi’s Yaya Centre.

The officers and security firm personnel were later arrested and arraigned in court alongside five regular police officers.

Last Friday, another heist involving a similar amount occurred in Westlands when again security firm personnel and AP officers transporting the money that was destined for Juba, Southern Sudan allegedly colluded and took off with it.

Some of them were arraigned in court on Monday while one is still at large while a city lawyer arrested for questioning over the theft was due to appear in court on Tuesday.

G4S has offered Sh1.2 million for any one volunteering information leading to the recovery of the money.


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