MONEY ON THE MOVE

The theft of the tote tak­ings at a Vo­da­com Dur­ban July hos­pi­tal­ity mar­quee this year fol­lowed a bold cash heist a few months ear­lier at the FNB Sta­dium, where thieves en­gi­neered their way into the sta­dium strong room af­ter Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi perfo

RISKSA Magazine - - SHORT TERM - Neesa Mood­ley- Isaacs

These brazen rob­beries have shifted the spot­light once more to cashin- tran­sit rob­beries, which have in­creased by 18 per cent for the year- to­date, com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to the South African Bank­ing Risk In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre ( SABRIC). In KwaZulu- Na­tal alone, there were 19 cash- in- tran­sit ( CIT) heists last year, while this year there have al­ready been 29 heists.

Ac­cord­ing to SAPS crime sta­tis­tics, in­ci­dents of cash- in- tran­sit heists rose from 192 re­ported cases in 2003– 2004, to 467 cases in 2006– 2007. The fig­ure dropped to 291 cases in 2010– 2011 and then again in 2011– 2012 to 182 re­ported cases, with in­ci­dents oc­cur­ring pri­mar­ily in Gaut­eng, fol­lowed by KwaZulu- Na­tal.

With no ma­jor de­vel­op­ments or ar­rests in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of ei­ther the Dur­ban July or the FNB Sta­dium heists, both in­ci­dents re­main a stark warn­ing for busi­nesses with high cash turnover to re­view how they man­age their risk, says Shehnaz Somers, San­tam’s head of com­mer­cial un­der­writ­ing. While in­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way to de­ter­mine the pre­cise fi­nan­cial loss in each case, the skill and fre­quency of these thefts is be­com­ing wor­ry­ingly ap­par­ent, she adds.

“The per­cep­tion that the use of elec­tronic fund trans­fers and in­crease in card trans­ac­tions has led to a re­duc­tion in the amount of cash in cir­cu­la­tion is in­cor­rect. The re­al­ity is that there is a lot more cash in cir­cu­la­tion. Re­tail­ers must en­sure that they have ad­e­quate cover in re­spect of the main cash lim­its in terms of the amounts trans­ported and/ or stored by ap­proved cash- in­tran­sit car­ri­ers.

Re­tail­ers who ex­pe­ri­ence high cash vol­umes need to en­sure that there is no short­fall be­tween

the ca­pac­ity of the cover pur­chased and the ac­tual tak­ings. Should this not be the case, this means a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of those tak­ings are self- in­sured,” says Cor­nel Schoe­man, com­mer­cial ex­ec­u­tive at Gen­ric In­sur­ance Com­pany.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of SABRIC, Kalyani Pil­lay, says the star­tling in­crease is at­trib­uted to: • A more ag­gres­sive ap­proach by per­pe­tra­tors to­wards se­cu­rity guards. Var­i­ous fac­tors that may in­flu­ence the in­creased use of vi­o­lence in­clude the ad­van­tage of the el­e­ment of sur­prise and limited op­por­tu­nity for guards to re­tal­i­ate. • Re­peat of­fender in­volve­ment due to pre­vi­ous suc­cesses. • Pro­longed in­ves­ti­ga­tion and court pro­cesses are not re­garded as a pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sure. De­spite sig­nif­i­cant con­vic­tions in some cases, pros­e­cu­tion tends to take a long time be­fore be­ing fi­nalised.

Pil­lay points out that the high­est risk cur­rently is “cross- pave­ment risk” or that point where the money is be­ing trans­ported out of busi­nesses to cash- in- tran­sit ve­hi­cles. “How­ever, var­i­ous se­cu­rity mea­sures have been put in place. These re­late to the train­ing of se­cu­rity guards, joint ef­forts and shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion be­tween in­dus­try and law en­force­ment, tar­get hard­en­ing of cash car­ry­ing de­vices and busi­ness premises.”

The num­ber of se­cu­rity guards de­ployed with each ar­moured ve­hi­cle varies ac­cord­ing to the client's re­quire­ments. Chris Pre­to­rius, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at Poly­gon Un­der­writ­ing Agency ( a spe­cial­ist in cash- in- tran­sit in­sur­ance), says the level of se­cu­rity varies be­tween dif­fer­ent ar­moured ve­hi­cles. “For ex­am­ple, an ar­moured ve­hi­cle that is cer­ti­fied to carry higher lim­its of cash will have dif­fer­ent se­cu­rity mea­sures com­pared to an ar­moured ve­hi­cle that is au­tho­rised to carry smaller amounts,” he says.

Pre­to­rius says there are roughly 2 500 cashin- tran­sit ve­hi­cles cur­rently in use by the four big­gest cash- in- tran­sit providers in South Africa. “How­ever, there are a num­ber of smaller op­er­a­tors that may, in some ar­eas, sub- con­tract to the main CIT com­pa­nies and the ve­hi­cles used by these com­pa­nies are not taken into ac­count in that fig­ure of 2 500,” he says.

De­ter­rents

Somers says the re­cent spate of cash- in- tran­sit rob­beries is con­cern­ing. “The meth­ods used by thieves are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­plex and com­pa­nies have sought new ways to com­bat this type of crime.” One of the de­ter­rents in­cludes the use of a cash stain­ing dye within the cash box, which is a highly cor­ro­sive ink orig­i­nally de­signed to de­stroy the cash. It is pre­dom­i­nantly used to in­deli­bly mark the cash and make it dif­fi­cult to use.

“More re­cently, we’ve seen cash- in- tran­sit com­pa­nies such as G4S Cash So­lu­tions an­nounce rob­ber- proof foam shields for their vans, as a means of mit­i­gat­ing their risk,” adds Somers. Ear­lier this year, G4S Cash So­lu­tions re­vealed that it would be rolling out the new tech­nol­ogy on 40 cash vans.

The foam is ac­ti­vated on any at­tempt to open the van’s back door when not in a se­cure lo­ca­tion and once the door has been locked, not even the driver will be able to open it.

When trig­gered, two chem­i­cals are forced at high pres­sure from cylin­ders in the ar­moured ve­hi­cle’s vault. The chem­i­cals com­bine into rapidly ex­pand­ing foam which hard­ens to form a rub­ber bar­rier be­tween the ve­hi­cle door and the vaults. Hannes Venter, the sales di­rec­tor at G4S, says the foam shield is in­tended to de­ter crim­i­nals and will re­place armed se­cu­rity per­son­nel in the back of the van. “The foam can­not be burned by chem­i­cals or fire, nei­ther can it ex­plode or crack if shot at,” he says.

Somers men­tions that se­cu­rity will al­ways be a chal­lenge for any cash busi­ness. “Busi­nesses must be aware of the risks to which they are ex­posed. By not hav­ing cor­rect sys­tems in place for their premises, money and per­son­nel, and if they have in­ad­e­quate in­sur­ance cover, the busi­ness owner could face dev­as­ta­tion.” Pil­lay of­fers the fol­low­ing ad­vice for busi­nesses that use cash- in- tran­sit ve­hi­cles: • Create a safe en­vi­ron­ment for CIT staff when ser­vice is be­ing de­liv­ered. • Com­ply with the min­i­mum stan­dards. • Min­imise the time spent by CIT guards on the premises. • Ac­knowl­edge the risk around CIT ser­vices and al­low them space to con­duct the ser­vice as quickly as pos­si­ble. • Pri­ori­tise CIT ser­vices – some busi­nesses close dur­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery.

“Highly se­cure en­vi­ron­ments are still ex­posed to a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of risks which must be taken into ac­count, man­aged and have in­sur­ance pro­cured for,” says Somers.

" We work to­gether with our clients to iden­tify their risk ex­po­sure by sur­vey­ing their busi­ness where nec­es­sary and ad­vis­ing them on risk mit­i­ga­tion which may in­clude risk trans­fer via an in­sur­ance pol­icy to make sure that they are fully cov­ered and ad­vis­ing them on other pre­cau­tions they may take,” she adds.

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