The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has said it has what it takes to produce enough bullion vans for banks and financial institutions in Ghana which are currently racing against time to meet a July 1, 2023 deadline.
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) in 2021 issued a directive for all financial institutions to procure the protective sophisticated vans failure to which the Bank of Ghana said it would not admit any substandard or soft-skinned Cash in Transit (CIT) vehicle into any of it’s premises nationwide.
This deadline was however extended to July 1, 2023 just after the James Town robbery attack on a Bullion Van in which a police officer was killed and another by- stander was hit with a stray bullet.
The series of robbery attacks on officers accompanying sub-standard vehicles for cash transfers forced the Inspector General of Police to issue threats not to escort any vehicle without the necessary protection for police officers.
Board Secretary of the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), the business arm of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Benjamin Amoah-Boakye, who doubles as Director General of Legal Services of the Ghana Armed Forces said they have a plant located at Burma Camp in Accra which has the capacity to assemble bullion vans.
Speaking to Alfred Ocansey on TV3’s Ghana Tonight, Brigadier General Benjamin Amoah-Boakye, lamented the risk and cost involved for banks and financial institutions to continue to chart money in ordinary vans.
“Having military men in pickups holding guns following another soft-skin vehicle transiting cash is quite not a good sight because you’re not because you’re not in the jungle so to speak. And if you look at the cost implications, as you deploy one vehicle carrying about seven soldiers following one CIT vehicle, each soldier is entitled to some monies as per diem”, he said.
He explained that what DIHOC and its partners have is more secure and has ultra modern features that meet today’s security standards.
“So when you have the type of vehicles we’re assembling where you have a driver, two escorts and a teller within an environment where they’re very secured and other services that we provide including having a national control room where the vehicles are tracked”, he said.
He said the original idea for the plant was to assemble armoured vehicles for the Ghana Armed Forces but that a production line has been added to produce the armoured bullion vans to help address the security of cash in transit. He said they have so far assembled four armoured bullion vans ‘and those four are for a particular bank and we’re in the process of assembling more, as I said we produce only on demand’.