Bank left open after door fails

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am

An electrical malfunction at a branch of Wing Lung Bank meant that the entrance was left open for nearly 15 minutes on Wednesday night with $1 million cash inside.

The roller shutter of the bank in San Po Kong was believed to have opened automatically at 9.56pm, according to police.

An alarm was set off immediately, alerting officers, who initially suspected theft. They discovered it was a failure of the electronic system only after conducting a three-hour investigation.

Video footage from the bank's closed circuit television showed that no one had entered the bank after the shutter opened. It was left unattended for less than 15 minutes before security guards and police arrived.

There was more than $1 million in cash inside, according to a bank spokesman, Patrick Poon Tak-kau, although the money was not in danger of being stolen.

'We have tested the security system several times since the incident and no flaws have been detected,' he said.

'The incident is due to an electronic failure in the system, which is very rare. The security system has not been damaged. Even with the roller shutter opened, it is unlikely that property at the bank would be stolen for there are various security measures guarding the safes.'

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has told the bank to examine the cause of the incident and implement measures to prevent a repeat.