Updated: April 14, 2021 7:46:43 am
The theft to the tune of Rs 4.04 crore by a private security guard from the currency chest of Axis Bank in Chandigarh’s Sector 34 has put the affairs of currency chests in the spotlight. It is for the first time in Chandigarh when such a huge amount was stolen from inside a bank. Although a few crimes have been reported involving the robbery of jewellery items. In 2012, jewellery worth Rs 12 crore was stolen from a leading jewellery showroom.
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What is currency chest? Which authority monitors it?
Currency chest is a place where the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stocks the money meant for banks and ATMs. These chests are usually situated on the premises of different banks but administrated by the RBI. Representatives of the RBI inspect currency chests time-to-time, and update their senior officers about it. The money present in the currency chest belongs to the RBI and the money, kept in the strong room outside the currency chest belongs to the bank. In the case of Axis Bank, Sector 34, the stolen amount of Rs 4.04 crore was the property of the RBI. Before sanctioning the currency chests, the RBI personnel inspect the premises of the applicant banks.
How is the loss recovered in case of a crime resulting in loss of cash?
A bank officer with the State Bank of India (SBI), requesting anonymity said, “As per the set guidelines, the bank, in which the currency chest is situated is liable to fulfill the loss of the currency chest. In the present case, Axis Bank will have to fulfill the loss from its account. There are certain categories of the loss. But in the cases of thefts, robberies and fraud from the currency chests situated within the bank premises, the bank is considered to be responsible. Sources in the RBI maintained that the Axis Bank has fulfilled the loss of the RBI in the present case. Regarding any crime, the bank concern is are also bound to submit a Fraud Monitoring Report (FMR) to the RBI.
What is the security arrangement for the chests?
The security of currency chests is the subject of the bank in which chests are situated. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reimburses the security expenses to the bank as per the set norms. The expenses includes the cost of transportation of cash from one bank to another. In the current case, the management of Axis Bank-34 has hired Punjab police personnel for the security of currency chest. A bank may stock in the currency chest as per its Cash Balance Limit (CBL), which differs in every bank.
How many currency chests are there in the Tricity?
As many as 13-14 currency chests are situated in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. These currency chests are of government and private banks.
Sources in the RBI said, “Certain currency chests exclusively belong to one bank and there are others, which provide the money to the branches of more than one bank. Banks, which cannot afford the chests, depend on other banks for it, and they pay expenses to the currency chest holder bank.
Status of current case
The security guard accused of theft, Sunil Kumar, is an employee with the MSF Security Agency, hired by Axis Bank-34 along with the Punjab police personnel for the security of the currency chest. A bank officer informed the police that the purpose of double security was to maintain a cross check on the personnel. Earlier, Sunil Kumar was deputed in Sector 25, Panchkula branch of a private bank. He stole the cash after breaking one of the trunk
from the rear side. He is still absconding.
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