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Police point to inside job in ATMs heist

Kinyuru Munuhe and Zadock Angira @PeopleDailkyKe

Barclays Bank of Kenya could be dealing with a monstrous cash theft racket harboured from within. This emerged after detectives established the cash machine software was interfered with during the heist at four automated teller machines in Nairobi during the Easter holiday.

Sleuths pursuing the case said some insiders in the bank may have taken advantage of the systems upgrade to manipulate the software. “The ATMs were not vandalised thus pointing to software interference,” said a senior detective, who requested anonymity because he is not authorised to address the media.

Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit and the Cyber Crime officers at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officially took over the matter yesterday for expert analysis over what police termed as “premeditated inside job”.

Four people were yesterday questioned in connection with the theft of Sh11.5 million. Senior backroom technical operators from the head office are persons of interest set to be summoned to shed light on what transpired to the systems.

Investigators are also keen to establish if the security breach was prompted from within or externally.  Coincidentally, bank insiders intimated that the troubled institution was migrating to a new system  which the suspects exploited to siphon cash without vandalising cash machines.

“Everything points to a case of inside job. There is not a single ATM that has been destroyed. It is simply a case of software manipulation,” said the officer.

Detectives are planning to conduct an analysis of the bank’s internal systems to establish the loophole from both bank staffers and the G4S security firm which was manning the cash machines.

Corporate affairs manager Charles Wokabi denied that bank staff members were summoned at the DCI for interrogation.

He said the amount lost was between Sh14 million to Sh15 million and not Sh40 million as reported in some sections of the media. “No one has been arrested. The officers came to enquire about the ATM operational model.” Wokabi said on phone.

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