Ensure security to bank vaults

Body formed to submit report within 2 months

11 March 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

The government on Monday formed an empowered committee to review and expedite security systems in the vault rooms of state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) following the latest heist at a Sonali Bank branch in Bogra.
The body has been asked to submit a full report about the matter within two months with necessary recommendations to reinforce security systems in the banks' vaults.
Amalendu Mukherjee, additional secretary to the Bank and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) of the Finance Ministry will lead the six member body while an executive director of Bangladesh Bank and four AGM level officials of Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali Bank have been included in the committee.   
The committee was constituted at a meeting chaired by BFID Secretary M Aslam Alam held      
at the Secretariat yesterday.     
Chief Executive officers (CEOs) of four Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali Bank also attended at the meeting.
"The committee has been formed to assess the present security arrangements in the banks' vaults and to find out way-outs to prevent the occurrences of heist at the public banks," M Aslam Alam told The New Nation yesterday.     
He said, the body has been asked to produce a report within the stipulated time enclosing necessary suggestions how the banks can ensure a foolproof security in their vaults.
"We have asked the authorities of the state-owned to tighten their security, especially at their vaults to stop recurrence of bank burglary," he noted.
When asked, M Aslam Alam said, his Division has asked the authorities of Sonali authorities to take stern action against officials of the Adamdighi upazila branch of the bank after investigation.
Miscreants looted Tk 32 lakh from the Adamdighi upazila branch of the bank by digging a tunnel to the bank's vault room on Saturday.
"Already we have asked the bank authorities to immediately suspend the Adamdighi branch manager, deputy general manager and general manager controller for their laxity in preventing the incident," he added.
He said, primary investigation had revealed that the high officials of the branch had lack of awareness and were irresponsible.
In response to a question, he said, being the largest commercial bank of the country, Sonali is keeping huge amount of money in its braches. Besides, it is also depositing funds of other banks. And knowing this, the miscreants have targeted the Sonali Bank for burglary.  
The BFID secretary also said that CEOs of the public banks have asked to beef up security at all their branches across the country.
Meanwhile, the authorities of Sonali Bank on Sunday constituted 60 teams to review the security at all the branches of the bank in response to a directive of BFDI.
"The teams will look into the security arrangement of all Sonali Bank branches across the country. They have been asked to submit a report within seven days while completion of physical inspection of the branches, said a senior Sonali Bank official.
Sonali Bank is now running about 1200 branches across the country.

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