Kitui heist: Robbers dig tunnel into bank’s strongroom, steal Sh1.5 million

Robbers steal Sh1.5m from Kitui bank after digging underground tunnel.
Robbers on Saturday night made away with Sh1.5 million after digging a tunnel to access a bank’s strong room in Kitui.

The incident took place at Financial Services Association (FSA) bank located in Itoleka, Kitui.

According to police, the gang took two days to dig the tunnel unnoticed until on Sunday morning when the watchman on duty noticed the burrow leading to the strong room.

How robbers managed to steal Sh1.5 million from bank in Kitui.
“A guard told our officers that as he was patrolling the bank when he saw a tunnel and suspected something was amiss,” Kitui East Sub-County commander Edward Legei told journalists.

Equipment used by the robbers to execute the heist was left at the crime scene.

Not the first

In 2017, robbers accessed KCB Thika Branch via a tunnel they had dug and removed five containers of 50-real notes, with an estimated value of Sh50 million.

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Three months before the incident, the criminals had rented a commercial property in Thika town next to the KCB bank premises before digging the 120 meter-tunnel that helped them access the bank’s vault.

The gang had renovated the property and put up a sign indicating it was a landscaping company selling both natural and artificial grass as well as other plants.

Neighbors described how they had seen van-loads of soil being removed daily, but understood this to be a normal activity of the business.

The tunnel, being roughly 70 cm (2.3 ft) square and running 4 meters (13 ft) beneath the surface, was well-constructed.

It was lined with wood and plastic and had its own lighting and air conditioning systems.

The gang broke through 1.1 meters (3.6 ft) of steel-reinforced concrete to enter the bank vault and completed their mission.

Three people were arrested in connection to the theft.

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