Advanced security system at exchange helps foil robbery

Advanced security system at exchange helps foil robbery

One picture released by the authorities show the woman standing inside the exchange while another image shows her being apprehended by police officers.


Nissar Hoath

Published: Mon 16 Mar 2015, 2:04 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:45 PM

Abu Dhabi - The security systems at money exchange centres, banks and jewellery shops linked with the police are extremely advanced and difficult to be broken in robbery attempts.

According to employees of money exchange centres, their outlets in Abu Dhabi are under 24/7 police surveillance to prevent break-ins or armed robberies.

“With the security system we have, we can get a police team within minutes if there is even an attempt to break in or rob an exchange centre,” Nauman Illahi of Al Dhafra Exchange in Madinat Zayed commercial area told Khaleej Times.

He said a single click will send an alert to the Police Operation Room cell that keeps an eye on all banks, money exchange centres and jewellery shops.

He and other employees say it was the advanced security system that foiled an attempt by a Filipina woman to rob a money exchange on Thursday

“You can’t mess up with the security system of money exchange centres. The cell at the Abu Dhabi Police knows about the working hours and is constantly watching them through the system. For example, one day I closed the shop, but later had to come to collect some documents I forgot, and as I opened the door, I got a call from the police to check if it was me who reopened the shop and why,” Illahi explained.

Once he was woken up early in the morning by the police because a newspaper delivery boy tried to push a newspaper inside and it hit the detector on the door and an alert was automatically sent to the police cell.

“It is very difficult to break in or rob a money exchange. I cannot explain how the system works because I would be exposing it to would-be robbers or thieves,” he said.

Employees of other centres also agree they have the world’s best and most advanced security technology installed by authorised dealers under the strict surveillance of police.

Genelene Gernade of Smart Exchange said: “We have an extremely foolproof security system that can get a police team here within minutes if someone tries to rob us.”

She said there was no doubt the money exchange centres in the Capital have the world’s best and highly advanced security systems that are impossible to breach.

“The police, particularly the cell for the security money exchanges, are very efficient. All those shops that have this kind of security systems provided by authorised dealers and installed under the supervision of the cell cannot be robbed. If I send an alert, the police will be right here within minutes,” said M.A., employee of another money exchange.

The same high-tech security system of the Abu Dhabi Police on Thursday helped catch the Filipina woman within minutes after trying to rob a money exchange in the Capital.

Woman with toy gun

According to the police, the woman was in an black abaya with a white headscarf and a black veil to cover her face.

The police identified the woman as A.L.R. who has been living in the country illegally.

The robbery attempt was made at Al Badar Exchange main branch near Hamdan Street.

According to the police, the woman was carrying a gun that turned out to be a toy and had a knife in her handbag. She pointed the toy gun and threatened the money exchange employees to hand over the money.

She later confessed that the knife was for her protection in case she was grabbed by the staff.

“Preliminary investigations showed that the arrested woman was wearing black gloves and a black full-face veil with a white scarf on the head. She held a black cloth in her hand, which she used in an effort to conceal the fake gun that she had threatened the exchange center employees with, to avoid leaving any prints, and to avoid being recognised or caught on CCTV. The woman threatened the employees at gunpoint and asked them to give her the money,” said Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammad bu Rashid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The Police Operation Room received an alert about the attempt to rob the centre, and a team was there within minutes and apprehended the woman.

Bu Rashid also said before the arrival of the police team, the employees already had a scuffle with the woman and grabbed her.

During interrogation, the woman confessed that she had planned the robbery to settle her outstanding debts, which amount to approximately Dh140,000.

“Police officers managed to prevent the woman from using the knife as she resisted arrest when they raided the location,” the officer said.

He also expressed his dismay at the use of the traditional Arab dress by the suspect to commit her crime, “as the UAE is a country known as a safe haven for all religions and nationalities, and one of the most secure countries in the world”.

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