Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Footage of suspects can be obtained from looted ATMs - Sabric

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Cape Town - Footage obtained from cameras at looted ATMs in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng will be shared with authorities, with the aim of tracking down the suspects, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre says.

Sabric chief executive Nischal Mewalall said more than 1 400 ATMs and branches were vandalised. The number was expected to rise.

Mewalall said the levels of destruction, the degree of violence and the extent of human mobilisation used to destroy infrastructure and perpetuate the scale of stealing was shocking.

“Sabric is very concerned about the loss of access to financial systems by the vulnerable, as these systems facilitate grant payments to recipients and act as payment points, enabling people to draw cash so they can feed their families.

“ATM cameras are dependent on supporting infrastructure such as internet fibre lines. In many instances, these fibre lines were damaged but in cases where they remained intact, footage obtained from cameras at ATMs will be shared with law enforcement.” .

He said that in many cases, ATMs have been destroyed while in other cases, repair work would need to be carried out.

“Banks are currently undergoing a process to evaluate the full extent of the damage to fully quantify the net impact.”

On Friday, Mewalall sent out a stern warning that money looted from ATMs were of no value.

He said the bank notes were held in special containers that protected cash with dye-stain technology which was activated when someone tried to break open the container.

“Once activated, the cash is stained with a green dye, thus defacing the notes, rendering them unusable as currency. The stained notes are recognised as having no monetary value once they are stained. People who are in possession of these notes make themselves suspects of a criminal investigation that will seek to determine if they were involved in the stealing and unauthorised access of these ATM containers.”

Sabric has encouraged people not to transact using dye-stained notes and to report any person in possession of the notes to the SAPS at 0860 010 111.

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Political Bureau

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