Cooperative banks in DK run the risk of theft

6:52 AM, Thursday, September 10th, 2015

sharanappa SD Mangaluru : Theft at a branch of a cooperative bank in neighbouring Kasaragod on Monday has raised the question of security at cooperative banks in Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada.

As much as 20 kg of gold ornaments, pledged by customers, and Rs. 13 lakh were taken away from the Eriyal Branch of the Kudlu Service Cooperative Bank in Kasaragod district in Kerala.

“The theft in Kasaragod is a warning bell for cooperative banks to beef up security measures,” said Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Sharanapppa S.D., who heads the District committee on Banking Security.

Laxity in security came to fore following the theft of 7 kg gold ornaments and Rs. 1.4 lakh from the Bhagawati Cooperative Bank in Bantwal on January 12. The police had found that this cooperative bank had not installed closed circuit television cameras and did not have a private security guard. This led Mr. Sharanappa to call a meeting of bankers in the district in August.

There are around 115 banks operated by Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies and five Primary Agriculture Cooperative Rural Development Banks in the district. There are eight Urban Cooperative Banks. As many as 40 multipurpose cooperative societies and 25 employees cooperative societies carry out banking in the district.

Among the points Mr. Sharanappa spoke about included installation at bank branches and ATMs of good quality CCTVs that comes with facility for longer storage of visuals. He also emphasised on having better lighting in the area that helps in getting clear images of the persons entering the banks and the ATMs. The guards posted on the banks and the ATMs should be from agencies approved by the State Police and they should not be overworked. He had also asked banks to upgrade their systems to prevent cyber thefts. Mr. Sharanappa had given time till September 30 for banks to submit report of compliance.

“I am yet to receive reports complying with security measures,” Mr. Sharanappa said. Police Commissioner S. Murugan said there are many cooperative banks that do not comply with even 10 per cent of the mandatory security measures prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India.

Jan 12, 2015: Rs. 1.4 lakh cash, 6.5 kg gold ornaments were stolen from Bhagavathi Cooperative Bank in B.C. Road

Sept 2, 2013: Unidentified persons attempted to rob at the Kuthamogeru branch of Vitla Padnur Vyavasaya Seva Sahakari Bank

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