JAM | May 4, 2023

Special investigative team to target slew of ATM robberies

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Minister of National Security Horace Chang.

The Government of Jamaica will establish a special multidisciplinary investigation team to focus on groups that have been targeting the national network of automated teller machines (ATMs) and cash transit vehicles.

Minister of National Security Horace Chang made the disclosure yesterday (May 3), while speaking during a post-Cabinet press briefing. He said that the matter of cash security is being addressed with urgency by the government.

“Yesterday I met with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) High Command and representatives of the private sector industry to discuss the Government’s strategy and immediate response. Later this week I will meet with a representative from the banking sector to look at additional methods that are required to strengthen cash management sectors across the island,” Chang explained.

The collaborative approach was also confirmed by Beryllium Jamaica president Andre McLean in a Facebook post, as he thanked frontline personnel for their “courage and unwavering dedication” in the face of an unprecedented assault by marauding gunmen.

In the meantime, some remedies that will take immediate effect, as detailed by Minister Chang include specialised training and certification of security guards involved in cash transit management, use of hard-skin vehicles for cash delivery, cameras on cash transfer vehicles and panic buttons on vehicles, which are now present on some cash transit vehicles being used.

A member of the JCF’s Speacial Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit. (Photo:

The minister also promised improved communication between the private and public sectors.

There will also be changes to the Private Security Regulations Authority Act to allow for specialised training of security guards given the increased threat. The banking sector will also be provided with minimum standards for the placement of ATMs.

“We will continue to engage all stakeholders to ensure that minimum operating standards are established and adhered to at all venues where money transfers operates. We’ll do what it takes to protect the lives of security guards and the assets of our hard-working Jamaicans who are affected by this current state of attack on the cash transit operations,” said Chang.

Since the start of 2023 there have been four different attacks on Beryllium drivers delivering cash to ATMs across the island. In the first two attacks, an estimated total of $38 million was stolen. However, criminals were unsuccessful in the two more recent attempts in St Thomas and St Elizabeth respectively.


What To Read Next