By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 9 July 2014:
A vehicle taking cash to a bank has again been robbed. Gunmen in two cars without . . .[restrict]registration plates and with tinted windows managed this morning to steal LD 1.5 million from a van which was taking the cash from ? the National Commercial Bank in Misrata to its branch in Sirte.
According to security officials, the incident took place some 20 kilometres west of Sirte. They had lain in wait and started firing when the vehicle arrived.
It is reported that the deputy director of the Sirte branch was in the vehicle at the time. No one was hurt in the robbery, and an investigation has been set up.
Yesterday, other thieves looking to a bigger windfall were not so fortunate. They were thwarted when they tried to intercept a vehicle taking LD 6 million from the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli to the Gumhouriya Bank in Tarhouna.
Although there were as many as 12 gunmen involved in the attempted heist, security guards accompanying the vehicle with the money started shooting back when it was attacked. The gunmen fled.
Again no one was injured.
There has been a spate of attacks on vehicles carrying cash to and from banks, most of them believed to be inside jobs. Just three weeks ago, LD 2 million was stolen from a Central Bank of Libya vehicle transferring the cash to the Gumhouria Bank’s branch in Tripoli’s suburb of Krimea.
In April, ten gunmen attacked a van carrying cash from the Aman Bank to the Central Bank and made off with LD 6 million.
The attacks have resulted in banks curtailing the movement of cash, with the result that many branches have been unable to hand money out to customers which in turn has affected businesses.
Sirte Local Council has complained about today’s robbery to the Attorney General’s office noting that this is not the first time there has been such an attack and no money found and no one arrested.
The town has seen more than its fair share. Last October, thieves managed to get away with LD 53 million which was being transferred to the town’s branch of the Central Bank of Libya. [/restrict]