Dar es Salaam police boss Suleiman Kova shelved a press briefing yesterday, saying everything he wanted to say about investigations into last week’s “robbery” at Barclays Bank’s Kinondoni branch was in The Citizen.
Mr Kova’s assistants told journalists gathered at Central Police Station, where Mr Kova has his office, that the briefing had been cancelled, but did not say why.
Contacted later, Mr Kova told The Citizen: “You people have already written everything. What do you want me to say?”
The Citizen reported exclusively yesterday that last Tuesday’s raid, in which three armed men purportedly grabbed Sh300 million, was faked to cover up the theft of millions of shillings by staff at the branch.
Sources familiar with the ongoing investigation said some employees at the branch colluded with rogue police officers to fake a robbery in an attempt to hide the truth about the theft. The workers were among those being held for questioning.
Detectives are also looking for a police officer from Oyster Bay Police Station, who disappeared as investigators zeroed in on him.
The officer vanished after learning that one of the suspects had told detectives about the stage-managed “raid” and the role of the fugitive.
Mr Kova refused to comment on Sunday, and said he would do so in a media briefing yesterday.
Staff at the branch called police at around 9.30am and claimed that the bank had been robbed of an unspecified amount of money. The sum was later put at Sh300 million.
Several Dar es Salaam residents said yesterday that Tanzanians were becoming increasingly creative in their endeavour to take shortcuts to riches.
“Whoever planned and executed the faked robbery deserves an Oscar. It’s a bad thing, but it shows how creative people have become as they aspire to lay their hands on tidy sums of money that does not belong to them,” said an IT specialist, Mr Sadick Mwakitubu.
Ms Paulina Yesaya, who operates a shop in Tabata, said people should use their creativity to earn an honest living.
“It seems that a lot of time and resources went into planning the theft and subsequent cover-up. This time could have been spent doing something legal, worthwhile and rewarding,” she said.