A number of Nedbank employees and security guards are being interrogated by police after thieves broke into the bank’s Belmont Branch in Bulawayo over the weekend and stole more than US$271 000 and R2,2 million from safes.

Preliminary inquiries point to a possible inside job involving bank staff or security guards after the thieves managed to open the safes before fleeing with the cash.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said investigations were still in progress.

The offence was discovered on Monday by Nedbank employees when they reported for duty.

The staff discovered that the back door of the bank had been broken open and was wide open while the razor wire that is mounted on the precast wall around the premises had been cut.

Police said the screen door that leads to the bank had been tampered with and some windows had been forced open and some burglar bars had been cut.

The alarm systems and control systems had also been tampered with, while the bank vaults had been forced open.

Investigations revealed that the unknown suspects unlocked three safes that contained US dollars, Zimbabwean dollars and South African rand.

One of the safes contained US dollars, one Zimbabwean dollars and one South African rand.

The thieves took the US$271 500 and R2 242 000 but left the Zimbabwean dollars.

When the incident occurred, there was a security guard who was manning the premises.

Last month, police were looking for seven suspected armed robbers who are on their most wanted list after committing a spate of high profile criminal cases countrywide.

The robbers are believed to be hiding in South Africa where most of them have bought expensive houses and are also operating businesses from the proceeds of crime.

The gang is linked to several robberies countrywide including the raid on a cash-in-transit vehicle transporting nearly 12kg of gold worth US$675 000 from How Mine to Fidelity Printers and Refiners in October last year.

They are also suspected of robbing financial institutions, money transfer agents, wholesalers and grocery shops, among others between May and October last year.

In Bulawayo alone, the gang reportedly got away with over US$858 000 and R508 000 in five raids within four months. Herald