One the ATMs that was looted during the unrest. Screengrab
One the ATMs that was looted during the unrest. Screengrab

Money looted from ATMs of no value, says Sabric

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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Cape Town - The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) says hundreds of ATMs were destroyed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as a result of looting and this is now hampering the ability of bank customers to access cash and other financial services.

Several videos did the rounds on social media displaying how looters violently accessed the cash in ATMs.

While those who thought they may have scored a quick buck, Sabric said that the notes which have been removed may not have monetary value.

A statement explains that the bank notes are held in special containers that protect cash with dye-stain technology that is activated when someone tries 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 CEO Nischal Mewalall said: “You may also find yourself out of pocket after releasing goods or performing services because you will not be able to utilise the currency you were paid with. In addition, you also run the risk of being investigated, arrested, and prosecuted for the destruction of these ATMs.”

Sabric therefore encourages people not to transact using dye-stained notes and report any person in possession of these notes to the South African Police Service on 0860 010 111.

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Political Bureau

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