Dubai: Police are hunting for three suspects involved in a daring daylight robbery of millions of dirhams from security guards who were restocking automatic teller machines (ATMs) at Lulu Village in the Muhaisnah area.
The masked suspects descended upon the guards and in a matter of seconds made off with more than Dh2 million in cash intended for the ATMs on Sunday.
A top police official told Gulf News on Monday the robbers disappeared quickly with two large cash boxes into a nearby residential area leading the police to cordon it off.
The robbery happened at 10am when a security guard accompanied by another guard from the Transguard security company were at the Lulu Village department store entrance.
The official said the ATMs were near the entrance.
The robbers ambushed the security guards as they stepped out of an armoured delivery truck carrying the two cash boxes. The guards were attacked with metal bars.
The van driver and the two security guards have been taken into custody for questioning.
ATM machines belonging to Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Dubai Islamic Bank and Union National Bank were due to be refilled.
In addition there is an Emirates NBD branch located outside the department store at Lulu Village.
The incident was recorded on close-circuit television (CCTV) and police are scouring the footage looking for clues.
This latest robbery, police said, may result in security vehicles being made more secure.
Lt Khalid Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, head of protection of private security companies at Dubai Police, said that investigations show some armoured car robberies involving large money transfers were committed by security company staff.
He pointed out that new amendments forthcoming in Dubai require that the front vision range of vehicles must not be less than 200 degrees and not the usual 180 degrees so that staff in the vehicle have a wider view to monitor anyone approaching.
Recently police said that new safety features will be added to vehicles transferring money in Dubai in order to protect them against theft and other kinds of crimes. These include changes in the shape and design of the vehicle.
Lt Al Hammadi said the modifications will cover about 400 security vehicles used for money transfers in Dubai.
He said that the security changes will apply to new vehicles, including a remote control linked with the operations room in the company, while access to the vehicle will be through electronic fingerprints. The driver will not be able to switch on the engine on his own and the process will be linked to the company’s operations room.
Lt Al Hammadi said that the new amendments in the specification of money transfer vehicles will make them similar to trucks and difficult to rob. They will have two cabins instead of the existing three.
The most important change is that the vehicle will not be unlocked by the driver when it reaches its destination but by the company’s operations room.
“The electronic fingerprint registered to use the car will be for three different people,” he said.
He said that the driver must abide by new rules such as not getting out of the vehicle or parking in front of a restaurant or in a public car park.