THERE was drama at Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital when bandits fired gun shots in a failed robbery that resulted in the wounding of an assistant accountant and her driver.
In the confusion that ensued, the bandits ended up snatching an ‘empty’ hand bag from the accountant, leaving a bag-full of money, which was the initial target of the attack.
The assistant accountant whose name has been withheld in the company of the driver went to withdraw money from a bank at Arcades Shpping Mall where they were believed to have been trailed from.
After withdrawing K61,000 the two headed back to the hospital without noticing that they were being trailed by a Toyota Corolla being driven by the armed robbers.
When the two arrived at the entrance of the hospital, one of the robbers armed with an AK-47 assault rifle shot at them with the bullet passing through the right thigh of the accountant and the left leg of the driver.
As the two screamed for help one of the bandits who had an axe smashed the window and snatched the accountant’s handbag before speeding off, not realising that they had left the bag with the money.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda confirmed the incident, saying the robbers were in a Toyota Corolla registration number ABP 5683. The incident happened around 10:00 hours on Friday.
She said the money for the hospital was intact because the accountant hid the bag containing the cash and the robbers ended up taking her handbag.
And Ms Munganga-Chanda advised institutions transferring huge sums of money from one place to another to get in tough with the police for them to provide the necessary security.
“We are ready to provide security from the time the money is withdrawn until it is disbursed provided a request is made to us on time,” she said.
Ms Munganga-Chanda said all institutions that felt that security at the premises was compromised should engage the police for advice or provision of security if necessary.
She also advised members of the public to be wary of criminals when withdrawing money at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) located at shopping malls.
Munganga-Chanda said in a Press statement that the police had received several reports of people being attacked and their money stolen after making withdrawals.
She said police officers had since been deployed at shopping complexes and were currently working in collaboration with managements to make sure that security was restored and all those found idling around would be brought to book.
Munganga-Chanda appealed to members of the public with information leading to the arrest of the suspects targeting people withdrawing and transferring huge sums of money to report to nearest police stations.
She said members of the public should also be aware that carrying large amounts of money could be dangerous, hence the need of transacting in smaller amounts or making non-cash transactions.
During the week, Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani cancelled leave days for police officers in an effort to ensure security during the festive season.