Thugs spent two nights in bank, escaped with gold but failed to access Sh41 million

Nairobi Central OCS Alphonse Ngundo outside Habib Bank along Koinange Street in Nairobi after a robbery  discovered on Monday March 12. 
A day after it was revealed that a gang of robbers spent a week feasting and stealing from a home in Matuu, Machakos County, the escapades of another gang, this time in Nairobi, have come to light.

The gangsters made their way into a bank in the heart of the city, where they spent two nights right under the noses of security guards.

The criminals seemed to have been prepared to spend the weekend inside Habib Bank AG Zurich as they carried with them packed githeri, chips, beef, rice, and chicken. They washed the food down with milk as clueless guards patrolled the main entrance of the bank along Koinange Street.

Their activities were discovered on Monday morning when the bank workers reported for duty and reported the robbery to the police.

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It could not be immediately established how much money they stole.

After working their way through six doors to gain access to the underground storage, the gang failed to break into one of the vaults in a strongroom. The vault had Sh41 million.

Underground storage

The thieves are believed to have broken into the bank on Saturday night and stayed until Sunday night.

According to the police and bank managers, the gang entered the bank through the rear door, went through the kitchen, banking hall, and up to the second floor of the building, where they disabled the alarm system and CCTV surveillance cameras before embarking on their mission.

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Interestingly a metal grill door had been left open sparing the robbers the task of breaking it.

At the rear entrance was a heap of garbage that partially blocks the metal grills.

The robbers brought in two large gas cylinders and welding machines through this gate and used the equipment to cut through the doors..

They used paper and cardboard to block the bank’s partially tinted windows and doors to avoid being detected by the security guards stationed outside.

The Nairobi police boss, Joseph ole Tito, who visited the scene, said the gangsters took their time inside the bank before escaping with money and other valuables.

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He said leftovers, welding machines, and a gas cylinder were found in the building.

“They have destroyed property inside there in a big way. They took their time and even left some of the food they had eaten. We don’t know when they came and left,” said Tito.

The leftovers included githeri, beef, chips, milk, and rice and were in disposable plates which they left in the main banking hall. Based on the leftovers and the plates there were at least eight people.

Disposable plates

Tito was accompanied by Criminal Investigations Officer Nicholas Kamwende, Central DCIO Samuel Cheserek, and OCPD Robinson Thuku.

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The officers said there were indications the robbery was an inside job.

“There is no way an outsider could have come in and done all the things that happened there. We suspect it was an inside job but our team is reconciling figures to get more details,” said Tito. The bank does not operate on weekends.

Customers who arrived in the morning were turned away by security guards at the main entrance.

About 30 bank workers who had reported for duty were told to go home until further notice.

The robbery was similar to the one at the Kenya Commercial Bank's Thika branch, where thieves dug a tunnel to gain access to the banking hall and strongroom last year. They stole Sh52 million.

In the Machakos’ case, four suspects in the robbery of a businessman’s home have been arrested.

The gang spent an entire week cooking, watching television, sleeping, and carting away household goods.

crimebank raidgang of robbersHabib Bank AG Zurichbank robbery