ATM bombings continue unabated in South Africa

June 6th, 2012 - 9:11 am ICT by IANS  

Cape Town, June 6 (IANS) Attacks on Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have gone up rapidly in South Africa this year, with 18 cash machines being blown up in a single province, causing a loss of one million rand (about $125,000 dollars) in damages.

According to the South Africa Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), ATMs are being targetted in the Western Cape province partly due to poor policing, Xinhua reported.

Each cash machine blown up costs between 50,000 rand (around $6,250) and 300,000 rand (about $38,000) in damages, excluding any money looted, the centre said.

ATM bomb attacks have taken place in Cape Town. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are the hardest hit provinces, according to the Institute for Security Studies.

A total of 399 attacks took place between 2010 and 2011 compared to 247 attacks between 2009 and 2010, a rise of 61 percent, the institute said.

“Street-facing” ATMs or exposed ATMs are easy targets for bombers.

The institute attributed the increase in attacks to disarray in the crime intelligence unit and a lack of experienced detectives.

Organised crime syndicates were taking advantage of weaknesses in the policing system, said Johan Burger, crime expert at the institute.

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