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The gang that on Tuesday raided a security truck full of cash outside the main Beira branch of Mozambique’s largest commercial bank, the Millennium-BIM, made off with 28 million meticais (about 467,500 US dollars, at current exchange rates), according to the police.
Cited in Thursday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, the spokesperson for the Sofala Provincial Police Command, Daniel Macuacua, said that one man suspected of forming part of the gang has been arrested, and is being held in a Beira police station.
Eye-witnesses said the gang consisted of five men wearing masks, and dressed in clothing similar to the uniforms of the G4S (Group Four Securicor) private security company, hired by Millennium-BIM.
The gang appeared at the Beira BIM headquarters just as the truck carrying the money was arriving – which strongly suggests that somebody had tipped the gang off about the expected time of arrival of the truck. The cash had been collected from other BIM branches in the city.
The police, “Mediafax” reported, find it highly suspicious that the gang could carry out the robbery with so little resistance. There were three G4S agents at the BIM headquarters, one of whom was shot during the theft. There were also G4S agents protecting the truck, and one policeman on duty at the bank. Yet these men, at least five of them and all armed, were unable to prevent the robbery or shoot out the tyres of the gang’ getaway vehicle.
Macuacua said the police investigation is raising the strong possibility that the gang received assistance from somebody inside G4S.