5 January 2019

Ethiopia: Police Detain Suspects of Coop-Bank Robbery

Police apprehended over 100 individuals suspected of an alleged robbery of 80 million Br from Cooperative Bank of Oromia's cash transporting vehicle on December 28, 2018.

The vehicle, patrolled by Chiro Town's police officers in eastern Ethiopia, was robbed while transporting the cash to Addis Abeba.

"The vehicle collected deposits from four branches in the town before it headed out to the capital," says Belete Waqbeka, director of research and corporate communications process at the Bank, which registered a 523.4 million Br net profit in the last fiscal year.

"Even if the mob was engaged in the robbery, very few individuals were the initiators," he added.

The Bank had the same experience in the unrest that happened in Jigjiga town of the Somali Regional State last August. When unrest broke out, the mob vandalised the Bank's branch, leaving the Bank with 41 million Br in losses.

"With continued unrest, it is becoming tough to move cash when branches hit deposit limits," Belete told Fortune.

The Bank, which has 298 branches, has pecuniary insurance coverage for all of its cash.

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