Money changers step up security after robbery

Currency exchange centres in the UAE have stepped up security measures across all their branches following an armed robbery in Dubai on Sunday.

Managers of most branches have been issued with a list of dos and don’ts in case of an emergency situation.

A senior manager at one of the leading currency exchange centres yesterday told Emirates 24/7 that the guidelines include a detailed security sweep of the branch daily in order to ensure that the security systems are in place and ways to reach the police in times of emergency.

Police have meanwhile arrested two men in connection with the robbery at the Motor City branch of the exchange.

“All the staff and managers in our centres have been issued a notification about more stringent guidelines. The contact details of three different senior members will be registered at the police headquarters,” he said.

A staff at a UAE Exchange centre however said they have a strict auditing system with bi-monthly overall security review and surprise checks at almost all centres.

All exchange centres across the country are connected to the headquarters in their respective emirates.

“In case of emergency the staff can alert the police by either simply kicking on the kick bars or by pressing the panic buttons. The cops are alerted immediately and are usually there in minutes. They can also immediately call either the manager, or the assistant manager or the next in command, whose mobile numbers are listed at the headquarters,” he said.

Dubai police have meanwhile said that they could have acted much quicker on Sunday if the staff who answered the police’s call had either told the truth or not answered the call. Instead, the staff is reported to have told the police that it is just a false alarm for fear of being shot by the armed gunman.

“The security system is very crucial especially in key centres that handle cash in the tune of almost Dh10-15million a day,” said another employee of an exchange centre based in Deira.

Meanwhile, there have also been reports about false alarms triggered off by rodents in some of the branches.

“There have been such instances in the past. At night the alarms are activated and they go off when anything moves even if they are rats. Many a times, security staff have rushed to the spot only to find some rats around,” said another exchange staff.

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