Four cashiers of Fidelity Bank Plc, three security guards and six policemen have been held in connection with the robbery of the bank’s branch at Okokomaiko, Alaba, Lagos State on Wednesday.
The suspects were said to have been arrested because investigators suspected foul play.
The attack came barely a month after a similar attack on the same bank, in which a mobile police officer was killed.
The robbers made away with N24 million.
Those presently being quizzed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, under SP Abba Kyarri, are the six policemen and seven staff of Fidelity Bank.
Out of the six policemen, three are inspectors, two sergeants and a corporal.
The bank staff are two female cashiers, two male cashiers and three private guards of the bank.
On Wednesday, an unknown number of armed robbers on power bikes and others vehicles blocked two bullion vans belonging to the bank as they drove into the bank’s premises.
The robbers were alleged to have been armed with several AK47 rifles and magazines around their bodies.
The bullion vans were escorted by seven policemen from the Bar Beach Police Station, Victoria Island, plus two spy policemen.
Aside from the spy policemen, all the other policemen were armed to the teeth.
In spite of the intimidating number of the policemen, the robbers overwhelmed them, killing the two spy policemen.
One died instantly on the spot, while the other died on the way to the hospital.
A police corporal was also shot and is presently in the hospital, battling to stay alive.
The robbers broke open the first bullion, carting away all the money.
But the second bullion van proved difficult to open.
The furious armed robbers shot repeatedly at the bullion van, but it refused to open.
Sensing that time was racing against them, they disappeared with the loot from the first bullion van.
A police source said: “One of the spy policemen who died was a driver, while the second was the person who used to load money into the bullion van.
“Six policemen have been detained and four cashiers of Fidelity Bank.
“They are now being quizzed.
“Out of the six policemen, three are inspectors, two sergeants and a corporal.
“The bank staff are two female cashiers, two male cashiers and three private guards of the bank.”
Another source said: “The matter is now with SARS.
“It is believed that there’s an insiders’ connection.
“I heard that investigation has started immediately.
“The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, is suspecting a foul play, considering that the bank had only recently been robbed in the same manner.
“He asked why it was always Fidelity Bank that was being robbed.”
Manko was said to have asked why none of the policemen who were armed fired a shot while the robbery lasted, adding that there was no single exchange of fire and yet none of the gunmen was killed.
Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the incident.
Braide said: “The incident did not occur at Fidelity Bank, but at the bank’s boxing office, where the bank officials use to box money before moving it out.
“Only one spy policeman was killed.
“The robbers would have been caught, but because it was in the market, our policemen did not want to shoot.
“The bullet could hit innocent people.
“The car attacked was the bank’s bullion van and it came to pick boxed money.
“Money taken was about N24 million.”