Now, SOP for cash vans

Non-banking entities are ferrying over Rs 15,000 crore daily to ATMs amid rising incidents of attack on cash vans but they still operate without proper guidelines, forcing Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to intervene.

The MHA has now proposed a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for secured cash handling and transportation by private security agencies, which sets an 8 pm deadline for replenishing ATMs in urban areas, 5 pm in rural areas and 3 pm in naxal areas.

The MHA also wants the cash transportation agencies to collect money from banks in the morning working hours.

Such vans should not carry more than Rs five crore per trip. Also, cash vans should compulsorily be used for carrying Rs five lakh per trip.

“Privately owned cash vans and currency vaults have become soft targets and are resulting in serious crimes across states. The risk of large volumes of cash falling into the hands of undesirable elements is ever increasing,” the MHA said in its reasoning for the need of an SOP.

There are around  8,000 privately owned cash vans plying across the country and the non-banking entities are also holding Rs 5,000 crore overnight on behalf of banks at their private cash vaults.

The MHA’s proposal comes as it feels that the private agencies were not taking enough precaution to handle such issues. There were several incidents in which cash carrying vans were looted.

According to the proposal, cash vans should be equipped with CCTVs and GPS. It should also be equipped with hooter, fire extinguishers and emergency lights to ensure quick reaction in case of an attack.

Two armed guards should be deployed in every van besides the driver and two officials dealing with cash. They should also be trained to deal with situations involving robbers.

The draft also wants cash transportation and ATM cash replenishment activities only be carried out in secured cash vans fitted with GPS tracking device.

Cash van should have CCTVs

** GPS

** two armed security guards

** should not carry more than Rs five crore per trip

** should compulsorily be used for carrying Rs five lakh per trip

Cash loading to should be done before

** 8 pm in urban areas

** 5 pm in rural areas

** 3 pm in naxal areas

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 4, 2016)

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