Tuesday 10 December 2019

ABN Amro closes ATMs on safety grounds after spate of explosions

Photo: Odi Busman

ABN Amro has closed a number of ATMs located close to housing following a spate of attempts to blow them up, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

The bank says it has taken the step to protect the safety of residents. Earlier this week, Amsterdam officials said they wanted to move all ATMs which were too close to people’s homes and were talking to banks about alternatives.

NOS said there have been 61 attempts to blow up ATMs this year, a rise of 40% on 2018. Most of them were ABN Amro machines, the bank said.

On Thursday night, the ABN Amro cash machine on the Buikerslotermeerplein in Amsterdam Noord was targeted by thieves.

In September, 10 Dutch nationals were jailed for between three and 13 years for blowing up six cash dispensers in Belgium.

The six, aged 22 to 32, come from Amsterdam and Utrecht and were known as the Hema gang because they wore Hema waterproofs during the robberies.

The gang struck six times in 2018 all over Flanders, using gas to make the cash dispensers explode. The Belgian court said they had been lucky that no-one was killed.

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