Operatives of the Rivers State Police Command on Monday recovered a cash sum of N60.25m two days after it was declared missing.
The police said the huge sum of money belonging to one of the new generation banks in the state, was recovered through an intelligence report.
A bullion van conveying over N100m cash was allegedly declared missing on Friday, July 8, 2017 after the van came into Port Harcourt from Aba in Abia State, to deliver the said cash.
It was learnt that a formal complaint was lodged at the Rivers State Police Command, which immediately began investigation into the disappearance of the money.
However, two days after, it was gathered that the said amount (N60,250,000) was found by the police at a place where it was allegedly abandoned in a taxi car.
Addressing newsmen at the state command after the recovery, the state Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of Administration, Mr. Uche Anozia, said that the bullion van was rented to convey money for two new generation banks in Port Harcourt from Aba.
Anozia noted that the van went missing when security escorts attached to it disembarked after it had delivered part of the cash to one of the banks (Zenith Bank).
The DCP explained that the driver of the bullion van drove off to an unknown destination after the security escorts allowed him to go and deliver the N100m to the other bank.
“On the 8th of July, last Friday, we received a report by one Mr. Stanley Ndubuisi of Bankers Warehouse, a company located at 36, Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt.
“The company engages in bullion van services. These bullion vans are rented by banks to convey their cash to and fro. So, on this day, a bullion van was rented from this company by Zenith Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank, here in Port Harcourt.
“The bullion van was to go to Aba to the branches of these particular banks to convey cash to Port Harcourt on behalf of these banks. The bullion van was manned by a driver, who drove the vehicle to Aba.
“When it (bullion van) arrived Port Harcourt, it went to Zenith Bank and delivered part of the money owned by the bank to it. According to the complainant, at that point the soldiers disembarked and left.
“Now, it remained the money for Stanbic ibtc Bank and the driver alone. Consequently, the driver absconded with the money.”
Anozia said after the report came up, the police commenced full investigation in the development.
He said, “Useful intelligence was received by me in my office on July 11 that a certain Ford Explorer was found parked on the premises of a supermarket, Everyday Supermarket, located in the GRA and that the vehicle contains sacks suspected to be bank property.
“I immediately dispatched my DC operations to the area to verify and validate the information. Fortunately for us, it was discovered that the sacks in the vehicle belong to Stanbic IBTC Bank because of the seals on them.
“The amount recovered, according to information, after check is N60, 250, 000. The driver that parked the car at that spot was the driver of Everyday Supermarket. He is on the run now.”
The DC said no arrest had been made at the moment, but stated that investigation was still ongoing with the aim of arresting everyone involved in the act.
Anozia, however, urged banks to always attach their staff members to bullion vans when transfers and transactions were made.