The Ghana Police Service has assured that it is working with stakeholders in the banking sector to provide adequate security for the carting of money within the country.
The Inspector-General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh about two weeks ago said he will stop his officers from providing protection for the so-called bullion vans used by banks if the institutions fail to procure fit-for-purpose vehicles by the end of June this year.
He gave the directive in a statement on the back of the deadly attack on a bullion van at Jamestown in Accra on June 14, 2021.
The Ghana Bankers Association, in response to the call by the IGP at the time, reiterated its commitment and resolve to work with the national security apparatus and take every measure to ensure the highest level of compliance with industry standards.
The association however did not state clearly whether the June deadline given by the police would be met.
Addressing the media at a press briefing organized on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, by the Ghana Police Service, the Director-General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), COP Isaac Ken Yeboah stated that enough measures are being implemented to ensure police personnel and monies of banks are adequately protected.
“We recently met with the Governor and his team and the issue communicated was the timing available for the armoured bullion vans to be imported. They said the two weeks available was too short.”
“They have some armoured vehicles from the Bank of Ghana, which they are going to use in a pool form to help the banks. We have also beefed up security, such that we won’t have only one person in a bullion van. So some things are being done by the banks,” he added.
‘Provide armoured bullion vans or we’ll stop escorting your cash’ – IGP to banks
In the wake of incessant robbery attacks on bullion vans in the country, the Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh, asked banks to provide fortified armoured vehicles for carting money.
The vehicles used by most banks operating in Ghana as bullion vans are not fit-for-purpose, putting both the personnel and the money being transported at risk.
Some police officers on these special duties have repeatedly complained about the unavailability of bulletproof vests and sophisticated weapons to protect them on these assignments, aside from the sub-standard bullion vans.
The Police Chief at the time said he will stop his officers from providing protection for these so-called bullion vans if the banks fail to adhere to the directive by the end of June this year.
The IGP gave the directive in a statement on the back of the latest attack on a bullion van at Adedenpo, a suburb of James Town in Accra on June 14, 2021.
The attack led to the killing of a young police officer and a trader.
“The IGP is also reminding the Association of Bankers to provide fortified armoured vehicles for carting currencies by the close of June 2021 as earlier agreed between them and the Police Service, else the Police withdraws its officers for escort duties,” the IGP warned in the statement.
There have been some bullion van attacks in the past, some leading to fatalities.