8 Jul 2008

Bank South Pacific prioritises staff safety after latest PNG branch theft

9:11 pm on 8 July 2008

The general manager of the Bank South Pacific in Papua New Guinea says a key priority after the latest armed bank theft is to try and ensure the safety of staff.

Around 800 thousand US dollars was taken from the BSP branch in Madang on Saturday.

Thieves, dressed in police uniforms, had kidnapped staff and a manager's family, prior to the robbery.

Police believe the same group had staged a similar robbery at another of the Bank's branches in May.

The BSP's general manager, Garth McIlwain, says it is the most difficult action to guard against.

"You can always replace money but you cannot replace the stress and the horrible experience of being kidnapped and held overnight or for a period of time. That's more of our focus at the moment on endeavouring to eliminate that type of activity, unfortunately people watch the movies, and there are world wide television screens now. These are the flow on factors of international communications and I guess we just have to be one step ahead of it."