Security measures of banks in Singapore not in top condition, implied MAS

Security measures of banks in Singapore have to be enhanced, urged the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), following the bank robbery at Holland Village on Thursday (July 7)

Read : Robbery in Holland Avenue, the first since 2008

A MAS spokesman said on Saturday that the measures could include adding more security personnel and deploying CCTV surveillance and alarm systems. However, MAS stopped short of detailing a thorough guideline of bank security.

The robber left the bank with $30,000 after passing a note to the teller stating that he “had a weapon” and listing down his demands. There was no security guard in the bank. One has since been stationed there.

The robber is said to be a Caucasian man whose identity remains unknown with no photos of him circulated in the public domain.

Photo credit: Minh Truong Truong

A Standard Chartered spokesman stated after the incident that the teller who handed over the money did the right thing by acting in the “best interests” of the costumers and employees.

The last robbery in Singapore took place in November 10, 2008. A man named Ismail Shaikh Ahmad robbed the United Overseas Bank at City Plaza. Ismail was 45 years old at that moment. He went into the bank, dressed in a woman’s dress. He threatened to explode the bomb using the mobile phone that he carried in a paper bag if the bank does not fulfill his demand. But he failed because the security tackled him down and got arrested.

Another robbery took place in December 10, 2004 where a bank robber walked into the West Coast POSB branch with a wooden plank, took a customer service officer hostage with a fruit knife and was given $37,000 in cash by the bank employees. After getting the money on hand, he ran and locked the individuals present at the branch by jamming the wooden plank against the door. No security was present at the bank branch. Till today, the armed robber is still at large.

A person convicted of robbery will be subjected to imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 6 strokes. If the robbery is committed after 7 pm and before 7 am, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 14 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 12 strokes.