Govt to track down armed robbers

28Feb 2016
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
Govt to track down armed robbers

The deadly armed robbery incident occurred on Friday at Access Bank’s Mbagala Branch in Temeke District, Dar es Salaam has sent shock waves up the spine of top officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs and now plans are under way to involve the military in tracking down armed robbers.

Minister of Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga

This was revealed yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga when briefing reporters on the robbery incident that took place at the Access Bank Mbagala Brach in which three armed robbers, a police officer and two civilians were killed.

Kitwanga said it was time for the involvement of the military in conducting special operations of rounding up or liquidating criminal gangs in various corners of Coast Region after it became evident that armed robbers have been finding safe havens in nearby forests in the region upon raiding banks, petrol stations and other installations.

Police said that about Sh30 million was taken from the bank in the robbery incident on Friday as robbers failed to open the main safe.
“We decided to come up with new strategies likely to help to address the issue,” he said, saying he will raise the matter with the Minister of Defense and National Service Dr. Hussein Mwinyi on deploying army units in the relevant areas.

“The government will use extra efforts in order to maintain peace and security for the people. This is the reason why we want to seek help from the army,” he stated, urging the public to remain calm when operations are being conducted.

Earlier, the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Simon Siro explained that on Friday a group of twelve armed robbers invaded Access Bank, Mbagala branch in Temeke district, killing three people including a police officer, and injured several others .

In reaction to the incident, the police managed to kill three bandits in a firefight where they suffered the loss of one officer and slew three of the heavily armed robbers.

According to Sirro, the incident occurred around 2:00pm when the criminal gang with a number of SMGs and hand-grenades attacked the bank premises.

Before taking that amount of money the robbers injured two bank staff namely Francis Amani and Salum Juma who were at the strong room and grabbed bags with cash.

As the criminals went out of the bank they shot two people, a shop vendor named Abdi Salum who were close to the bank and Baraka Fredrick (25), the bank security guard, who died on the spot.

During the incident the police managed to get one SMG No 6787 and three hand-held bombs used by the robbers. The police have also collected six motorcycles used by the robbers in the raid.

Sirro explained that the police had not managed to arrest nine criminals as they escaped into the Kongowe forest.
When the robbers arrived at the bank they first attacked the police room nearby and killed one officer, shooting him on his head, before grabbing two SMGs used by the police guards, he said.

The police had not managed to get back the stolen money, the RPC added.