10 guards detained over ATM theft in Malaysia

SUBANG JAYA - Police have detained 10 suspects in connection with the RM600,000 theft from an automated teller machine (ATM) at a bank in Seri Kembangan here on Tuesday.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects, all locals aged between 25 and 40, were nabbed in the Klang Valley on Wednesday and yesterday.

The 10 are security personnel from two companies assigned by the bank to replenish cash at their ATMs.

They have the access codes to the ATMs. They were remanded for four days to help in the investigations.

"We found an undisclosed amount of money on the suspects. We are also questioning bank employees. We expect to make more arrests," Khalid said before chairing the security meeting with the Selangor division of the Malaysian Association of Hoteliers here yesterday.

He was referring to the incident on Tuesday about 11pm at the Maybank branch in Seri Kembangan where a group of men emptied three ATMs after spraying paint on eight closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the premises.

Police suspect the theft was an inside job as the suspects did not break into the ATM. Instead, they opened the outer shell with a key before getting to the safe box by keying in the access code.

The key to the shell and the access code are only available to a handful of security personnel and bank staff.

Bank personnel found out about the theft when they opened for business on Wednesday.

It is learnt that the security guard at the bank is one of those remanded. He had claimed that he had gone out for dinner when the theft happened.

Khalid said police were also investigating whether the suspects were linked to the RM350,000 robbery at an ATM in Bandar Baru Bangi on June 19.

During the incident, seven men cut open an ATM with oxyacethylene torches before escaping with the money.