The metallic steel vault of the International Commercial Bank (ICB) at Rawdon Street was not strong enough to withstand what police described as a “conspiracy” to break into the bank’s catacomb and cart away the sum of two hundred and sixty seven million two hundred and forty five thousand Leones (Le 267,245,000).
On Saturday 22 November, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Assistant Superintendent Police (ASP), Samuel Kargbo revealed that they were informed that two Mount Everest security guards detailed at the said bank had abandoned their guard posts and gone away with the bank keys.
“We visited the scene and later discovered that the front door was locked with lock and key but the internal vault was broken into,” ASP Kargbo disclosed. He went on “we observed that it was a conspiracy between the cleaner and the security guards on duty and some other members of the public to break into the vault and then cart away the said sum.”
ASP Kargbo said “so far we’ve arrested the cleaner – Mohamed Kargbo; one of the Mount Everest security guards- Gibrilla Bangura, and one Abibatu Bah who is said to be a relation to the other security guard who is on the run”. The arrested suspects are presently helping the police with their investigation, he said.
Though seemingly disturbed by the robbery, yet the overly optimistic ICB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Krishnamurthy Srinivasan said, “the bank is functioning normally in spite of the incident.”
The CEO said the bank is operating under the stringent rules of the Bank of Sierra Leone and that there is “nothing to worry about …We are covered by insurance and as such this those not affect our operations at all,” he said.
He however, noted that when such organized crime happens to an international institution like them it affects the image of the country as it scares investors. Krishnamurthy also said that he is happy that at least some arrests have been made by the police and the investigation is still ongoing. By Ophaniel Gooding