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Bank on the spot over jewellery lost in attack

Giro Bank has disowned claims it took responsibility for the theft of valuables in customers’ deposit boxes at its Parklands branch.

The theft that occurred on April 23, saw one of the customers lose jewellery worth Sh4 million. It is alleged that the thugs used gas welders and sledge hammers to open the deposit boxes.

A letter seen by NairobiNews from Giro Commercial Bank Limited says they cannot be held responsible for undeclared valuables and reminded the customers whose boxes were broken into that the case is now before the court.

Empty pledges

“The decision of what to store in the locker is exclusively under the control and knowledge of the customer, but subject to the limitations contained in the general terms and conditions of operation which you signed. Furthermore, there is no declaration signed by you declaring the contents,” says Jacqueline Mutungua, a Giro Bank official in a letter to one of the victims.

The affected customers are Mrs Neerja Mehta, Mrs Shibani Sarkar, Mrs Renuka Patel and Mr Bhavesh Patel and Mrs Rashmika Ramesh.

Four suspects were arrested and charged with the robbery on May 9. The case was mentioned on October 23.

The letter addressed to Mrs Neerja Mehta dated October 3, says the contents of the deposited boxes she provided to the bank was meant for the police and not them.

“Please note that the list of the contents which you provided was purely for assisting the police with the investigations. It should not be interpreted to mean that the bank has acknowledged the same or assumed responsibility,” says Mutungu.

She says contrary to claims by the families, the bank’s premises and strong rooms were secure.

“We disagree with your version that our strong room was not secure enough and state that we took all necessary steps to ensure safety of bank premises,” says Mutungu.

The customers want the bank to take responsibility for the losses.

However, on May 24, Giro Bank, Parklands branch manager Jabin Ahmed warned the customers to “desist from making assumptions or drawing conclusions from unverified sources and allow the police to do their work”.