The police have interviewed three security guards in connection with a “suspicious” robbery which took place at a Maseru supermarket, and also the disappearance of two firearms, also in the capital, on Monday last week.
The Officer Commanding Maseru Urban, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo said the police suspect the security guards might have been involved in the robbery as well as the disappearance of their firearms.
“It’s difficult for us to understand how robbers could remove part of the roof of a supermarket, which is guarded, and carry groceries worth more than M25 000 through the same roof, without the security guard hearing anything,” Senior Superintendent Kolo said last Friday.
“This incident happened during the early hours of Monday, and we would want the security guard to explain what could have happened because this is a very bizarre robbery.”
In a separate incident, Senior Superintendent Kolo said a local hardware lost M25 000, also under suspicious circumstances.
He said although investigations were continuing, the police had failed to understand why the security guard who was supposed to be on duty, was guarding a different post on that particular night.
In other cases, two security guards were robbed of their firearms, also under dubious circumstances, Senior Superintendent Kolo said.
“In the first case which happened on Monday night also this week, the security guard stationed at a certain workplace in Maseru West, claimed two unarmed men attacked him and stole his gun.
“In the other case, the security officer guarding a private residence in Lower Thetsane, claimed he lost his gun to two men, one of them armed with a knife.
“We are worried about the circumstances of these alleged robberies. And because we smell a rat, we have instructed all heads of police stations in Maseru to meet with security companies operating in various parts of the city, and raise our concern.”
The meetings, he added, would help establish the companies’ recruitment policies, the type of training they offer their guards, and how they operate.
“We are keen to have a deeper understanding of their systems because we need to find out how a security guard holding a gun can lose it to unarmed robbers.
“We would also want to understand the nature of training the guards undergo and their deployment policy. The deployment part would help us resolve the robbery which occurred at the hardware,” Superintendent Kolo said.
He further said the meetings would be held in light of several other concerns raised in previous meetings with security company bosses.
“We hold quarterly meetings with representatives of different security companies and we found out that after registration, the operations of these firms are not monitored at all. In case a security company collapses, we don’t know what happens to their firearms based on the understanding that they would be used for security services.”
Senior Superintendent Kolo said in previous cases where some security guards were implicated in robberies, they cited poor working conditions and remuneration as their motive for conniving with criminals.
“We don’t think that justifies criminal actions but we also strongly feel security companies should look at these issues to help minimise the involvement of their staff in crime. It’s frightening when companies and people trust security services unaware of how compromised they are.”