Hawks continue to investigate two bank robberies

Customers wait for the FNB Randburg branch to open.

The Gauteng Hawks are continuing investigations on the possibility that there is a sophisticated gang of bank burglars in underworld circles after a second FNB branch was hit last week.

Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mulamu said they were investigating the modus operandi in both cases to confirm whether the same gang was involved. The National Bureau for Illegal Firearms Control and Priority Violent Crime had received a complaint from FNB’s Parktown branch about a business robbery on 3 January.

“When police arrived on the scene they found that R1.7 million, as well as the contents of 30 safety deposit boxes were stolen from two vaults within the bank,” Mulamu said.

She said the theft had taken place on New Year’s Eve, and they were working with forensic experts to solve the case, which resembled an earlier one in Randburg where about 250 safety deposit boxes were stolen. The boxes that were stolen in Randburg were found in a veld after they received a tip-off two days after the crime, close to the FNB Stadium, and they had been emptied.

The FNB branch where about 250 safety deposit boxes were stolen.

The FNB branch where about 250 safety deposit boxes were stolen.

One of the victims of the Randburg heist spoke to the Randburg Sun anonymously. “I kept Krugerrands and jewellery in the box. It is a tremendous loss,” she said.

FNB spokesperson Lee-Anne van Zyl said there was no indication that the Parktown branch burglary was related to the Randburg one. However, they were working closely with police.

“Impacted FNB customers were notified individually via the contact details supplied to the bank after law enforcement authorities completed their preliminary investigation,” she said. Van Zyl added that the bank was prioritising the matter. “We have deployed additional resources to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement authorities on the investigation.”


Gaahele Mokgoro

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