Interior Minister Mr Ambrose Dery has said it is unacceptable that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) gave financial institutions up to 1st July 2023 to phase out and replace all soft skinned cash in transit (CIT) vehicles.
Mr Dery told TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh in an exclusive interview that the lives of the Police officers cannot continue to be in danger until 2023.
It has emerged that the central bank in December 2020 issued a number of directives to financial intuitions to phase out and replace all soft skinned CIT vehicles.
A statement to that effect said following the Bank of Ghana meeting with cash operation managers of banks held on Thursday 15th October 2020, “Bank of Ghana hereby directs all Deposits Money Banks (DMBs) and Specialized Deposit taking-institutions (SDIs) to acquire armoured plated bullion vans for its cash operations. The above directive is as result of the spate of armed attacks during cash in transit activities, leading to loss of lives, currencies and destructions of sophisticated equipment which has become a national security concern.
“Phase out and replace all soft skinned cash in transit (CIT) vehicles presently in use with fit for purpose armnoured plated vehicles with European standard B6 Ballistic protection for passenger compartment and European Standard B4 for Cargo compartment.
“Involve BoG in the procurement of the armoured vehicle to ensure compliance requisite specifications
“BoG further directs that all BMBs and SDIs should comply with the above directive by 1st July 2023 after which BoG will not admit any soft-skinned CIT vehicle into its premises nationwide.”
But Mr Dery who was commenting on the killing of a police officer in a robbery attack on a bullion van in Jamestwon said “:…What we call bullion vehicles in Ghana are just ordinary vehicles with plates on them which are not armoured.
“They don’t give the police and the cash any protection and so it is easy for bullets to go through them so they are not bullion vans,” he said.
“We have taken steps to protect our police men and women when they go on such operations. We provided a number of bulletproof vest and helmets.
“The first consignment that came in, about 4000 of them came in just before we experienced the deaths of a number of policemen in these past few years . The police officers were encouraged because we then issued those vests for them and also made provision for them to carry side weapons to protect themselves.
“5000 is not adequate, we are dealing with over 40,000 police officers and for those who have interest such as banks and financial institutions , we do not think that the limited resources that we have for the protection of the general public should be allocated to that special needs. So we expect that in those cases they should make a contribution to protecting the Police that we allocate to them.
“The banks don’t get held responsible when we lose policemen , the government does, I do. And I don’t think that the Bank of Ghana fixing 2023 is acceptable, it is not. So is it a deaths sentence for those Police we are going to assign?”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana