Closed circuit television (CCTV) played in court when the K500 million (about $737 494) Mzuzu Standard Bank robbery case resumed yesterday revealed that the automated teller machine (ATM) custodian at the branch, Charles Moffat, had access to both keys and combinations to the machines before the robbery took place.
Standard Bank investigator Gaver Ziba, who testified in court, said in normal practice, the ATM is supposed to be managed by two people—one holding the keys and another the combinations.
Ziba told the court that he suspected that Moffat was part of the robbery because of his conduct on the day of the robbery and what appeared on the CCTV footage.
Among others, the footage shows Moffat leading two robbers into the bank, and then him and one robber coming out to get a watchman, Amos Jere, in.
Another clip shows Moffat and one robber getting into the ATM rooms, with Moffat leading the way. He opened the rooms with keys and not the combination, and picked two lower containers from each ATM.
The money looks bundled with elastic bands as it does not splash as Moffat is seen helping the robber pack it into a carton. Ziba said ATMs are not packed with bundled money to allow the machine to pick the notes when a customer is withdrawing.
The case has since been adjourned to an unspecified date to let Ziba travel abroad.
Meanwhile, first grade magistrate Cuthbert Phiri has questioned the heavy security the State is deploying for Ken Kamwambi, a police officer who was arrested in connection with the robbery.
Over 20 security personnel with guns are seen on the ground when Kamwambi is taken to court despite having his hands cuffed and legs chained.
Kamwambi’s lawyer, George Kadzipatike, said he too was shocked at the manner in which the State is guarding Kamwambi, adding that people will be tempted to view him as a dangerous person when he is only a suspect.
“The magistrate was right on this issue. We wonder why the State is not providing security to the magistrate, but it is going ahead to guard a suspect in such a manner. My client has never attempted to escape from custody or pose any challenge,” he said.
Northern Region police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said the case in question is a high-profile case hence the heavy security. n