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Sierra Leone police arrest 3 over bank robbery

Three people have been arrested and detained by detectives of the Sierra Leonean Criminal Investigations Department for allegedl y breaking into and robbing a commercial bank in Freetown.

One of the new branches of the International Commercial Bank (ICB) at Rawdon Str eet in city centre, was burgled by robbers who broke into the bank’s catacomb an d stole Le 267,245,000 (two hundred and sixty seven million two hundred and forty five t housand Leones) (Le 296 = US$ 1).

Detectives of the national crime services (Criminal Investigations Department) d escribed the act as a “conspiracy”.

Speaking to journalists here Friday, detective Assistant Superintendent of Polic e (ASP), Samuel Kargbo said while on duty Saturday, 22 November, they were infor m ed by personnel of the bank that two private guards in the employment of “Mount E verest Security Agency” detailed at the said bank abandoned their guard posts an d went away with the bank’s keys.

“We visited the scene and later discovered that the front door to the bank was u nder lock and key but the internal metallic steel vault was broken into.

“We observed that it was a conspiracy between the cleaner and the security guard s on duty and some other members of the public to break into the vault and cart a way the said sum.”

ASP Kargbo said “so far, we’ve arrested the cleaner – Mohamed Kargbo – one of th e Mount Everest security guards – Gibrilla Bangura – and one Abibatu Bah who is sa id to be a relation to the other security guard who is on the run”.

The arrested suspects are helping the police with their investigations, he said.

International Commercial Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Krishnamurthy Sriniv asan said, “the bank is functioning normally in spite of the incident.”

The CEO said the bank was operating under the stringent rules of the Bank of Sie rra Leone and that there was “nothing to worry about.

“We are covered by insurance and as such this will not affect our operations at all,” he said.

Srinivasan, however, expressed fears that when such organised crimes happen to a n international institution like ICB it affects the image of the country as it s c ares investors.

The bank CEO said he was happy that at least some arrests have been made by the police and investigation was ongoing

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