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    Increase in attempts to blow up cash machines

    © Belga
    In 2018, 17 attacks on such machines, including some that were profitable for criminals, have taken place in Belgium.
    © Belga

    On Tuesday, Febelfin is demanding a new consultation, with the departments for the Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance) and the Justice Minister, Koen Geens (Flemish Christian Democrats). The consultation aims to evaluate the measures taken to prevent gas explosions on ATMs. In two days, two new attempts to blow up an ATM have taken place in the province of Antwerp. The federation, which protects the interests of the financial sector, indicates that both attempts have failed thanks to the measures that the banks have taken.

    In 2018, 17 attacks on cash machines, including some that were succesful for criminals, have taken place in Belgium. Faced with the phenomenon, the banks have conducted intensive talks with politicians and the police, both at national and international level, with a view to stopping this wave of attacks.

    The move has resulted in measures such as less liquid cash in ATMs at any one time. The ATMs themselves now benefit from increased security, and detection systems able to quickly locate attempts to break into these machines.

    Febelfin commented on Tuesday, “The failure of a proportion of the recent attacks shows that this approach is appropriate.” The organisation states that how the banks apply these measures in practice differs from one bank to another.

    The federation, which is continuously reassessing these measures together with the financial sector, the police and affected authorities, “is calling upon the political and legal world to mobilise sufficient means to swiftly arrest criminals and prosecute them harshly.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times