Millions stolen in Family Bank robbery, branch managers arrested

Family Bank Ruiru
Police are investigating the theft in Ruiru. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Police are investigating the theft of over Sh20 million from Family Bank in Ruiru over the weekend, OCPD James Ngetich has said.

The lender on Monday released a statement, saying it reported the break-in to relevant authorities and that the robbery is under investigation.

"Family Bank confirms that there was a break-in incident at our Ruiru branch over the weekend of June 14-18, 2018...We wish to inform our customers that the our Ruiru branch is fully operational and open for business," it said in a statement.

Ruiru police declined to comment further on the matter. However, an OB report reveals that a security manager conducting routine checks of the premises discovered there had been a robbery after finding that the alarm system had been tampered with.

The police were alerted, who then rushed to the scene and established that thieves had broken into the bank during the night at an unknown time by cutting through the rooftop.

They used welding gas and clawbars to access the strongroom and the branch ATM machine.

A gas cylinder and four clawbars were recovered at the scene.

Becoming bolder

Family Bank is only the latest lender to be targeted by daring robbers in the last 12 months as attacks on Kenyan lenders grow bolder.

Last year, three men shocked the nation when they stole Sh52.65 million from a Kenya Commercial Bank #ticker:KCB branch in Thika.

They allegedly gained entry into the bank’s strongroom by digging an underground tunnel over a period of six months.

In March this year, githeri-eating thugs broke into the Habib Bank AG Zurich along Koinange Street and made away with an unknown amount of cash.

They used gas and welding machines to break into safes, only leaving scraps of githeri, chicken, rice and other food which they ate as they carried out the heist.

Most recently, Chase Bank systems were hit by an ICT system outage lasting days that has been linked to a hacking attack on the lender.

Update: Three Family Bank Ruiru branch managers and a watchman have been arrested.

According to a source who cannot be quoted as they aren't authorised to speak on the matter, they are likely to be charged at the Kiambu Law Courts.