By Emma Amaize, regional editor, south-south, Warri
A total of 25 bank officials and policemen, suspected to be members of a bank robbery syndicate, were whisked from Warri to Asaba , weekend, by the police in connection with the bizarre disappearance of N14 million from a bullion van between Effurun and Ekpan in Delta State on Monday.
The bank staff, including cashiers and drivers number 17, while the policemen are eight in number. They were being detained, yesterday, at the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, of the Delta State Police Command, Asaba.
Delta state police spokesman, Charles Muka, did not give details, but simply told Saturday Vanguard, “From the circumstances surrounding the case, we suspect insiders’ game. We have intensified our efforts, we will unravel the mystery surrounding the missing money”, he stated.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the suspects who were initially detained at the Area Commander’s Office, Warri, were whisked, late Friday, to the Delta State Police Command headquarters, Asaba for further investigations.
Among the bank workers arrested were tellers and drivers, who were suspected to have played a role in the vanishing of the money between the bank’s office at Effurun and its cash office at Ekpan.
It was gathered that when bank officials and policemen from Enerhen Police Station, Enerhen, who escorted the money on Monday got to the Refinery Road, Ekpan branch of the bank, it was discovered that the boxes were empty and immediately, there was commotion in the premises.
There was uneasy calm on Friday when Saturday Vanguard visited the bank, as a concerned staff said workers were planning to protest the handling of the investigation into the incident by the police in Warri.
A reliable source said the movement of the cash in question was known to the head of operations, bank manager, supervisor, cash officer and drivers, but the police in Warri declined to take some top officials at Effurun and Ekpan branches of the bank into custody on questionable grounds.
Findings by Saturday Vanguard at the bank showed that the close circuit television, CCTV, was turned face-up by unknown persons so as not to capture the faces of those that removed the money from the bullion van”.