Record number of ATM blasts

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

The banking industry and police are working together to address the crisis of ATM attacks.

This month there was a record 55 blasts and since January 182 ATMs have been bombed out of the 15000 ATMs countrywide.

In 2006 there were 54 attacks. Last year the number rocketed to 387.

Between January 1 and July 31 last year, 280 ATM machines were blown up.

The damage caused totalled R62,4million, excluding the stolen money.

First National Bank spokesman Steve Higgins said: "We are working very closely with the police and have made a breakthrough in some of the cases.

"We review security measures regularly to make sure we are one step ahead of the criminals. We have installed surveillance cameras not only for ATM attacks but for other criminal activities."

He said each damaged machine cost R200000 to replace.

This week a 49-year-old mine worker was arrested for possession of illegal explosives and mine property at Slovoville, Roodepoort on the West Rand.

The man is expected to appear in the Roodepoort magistrate's court today.

Gauteng police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said investigations into how the explosives leave the mines were continuing.