7 Aug 2008

Fear of robberies closes some PNG banks

7:17 pm on 7 August 2008

Fears of another bank robbery have led major commercial banks in Papua New Guinea to temporarily shut down operations in Madang province.

The Post Courier newspaper says the Bank South Pacific, ANZ and Westpac Bank have all closed branches.

The closures come as police received warnings by anonymous phone callers to abort investigations into recent bank robberies and release the suspects in custody.

The recent heists at BSP branches in Madang and Kerema saw 1.2 million US dollars taken, while bank staff were kidnapped and their families threatened.

Bank South Pacific has also shut down its Vanimo and Kainantu branches following similar threats.