Certis CISCO: Cash and valuables missing from safe deposit boxes

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(Photo Wanbao)

Rush of clients to Certis CISCO to check their safe deposit boxes

I’m disturbed by this report. I wish it’s not true. I feel sad not only for those customers who lost their cash and valuables but our Singapore brand. What’s happening to our “national icon” Certis Cisco?

It reminds me of a similar case – another national icon DBS in Hong Kong where 51 customers’ safe deposit boxes with valuables inside were accidentally disposed off.

DBS HK fiasco

I’m sure you will agree with me that integrity, trust and reputation are priceless. You can’t put a value on them. It may amount to billions in terms of future potential business losses or our country’s reputation. Can you just compensate and pay off the victims? Just tell them to shut up? It’s naivety beyond description.

Read about Gurkhas here.

Look at our Gurkhas – mercenary soldiers. They are poor farmers originating from the highlands of Nepal. For hundreds of years, they have built up their reputation as loyal fearsome fighters. They have nothing but integrity, trust and their solid reputation. They are much sought after by UK, Hong Kong, Brunei, Singapore and some Arab countries. Even private security companies sought their services.

Just look at the 1982 Falklands war, how many UK Gurkhas were killed and sacrificed. Wonder no more why PM, SM and MM residences are still guarded by Gurkhas. Have you wondered why the Cisco are not engaged? After all, Cisco are staffed with cheap FTs. It’s definitely cheaper to engage them right?

Nevertheless, Cisco still guard ministers’ residences, Istana and vital installations like the customs, airport and seaport. In other words, we still “trust” them. State police out sourced to them cuz they are cheaperest, betterer and fasterer?

Maybe, we’ve got no choice but to trust them. Cisco is one of two premier auxiliary police agencies licensed to carry arms. It’s run on a commercial basis. Most banks and financial institutions engage their premium services.

Cisco is such a huge organisation that they even take care of security consultancy & installation, escorting funeral procession, traffic control, shopping malls and illegal parking on our public carparks and roads etc. Maybe, they are more fit to look after carparks and public roads. They are extremely super efficient in issuing summons and ‘terrorizing’ the general public over petty offences such as litering or smoking offences rather than guarding your cash and valuables in safe deposit boxes inside their premises.

Click to read how and where Cisco Police Officers are recruited.

In the news report, it’s stated that the victim discovered her cssh and valuables returned intact after a police report was lodged when they went missing from a Cisco safe deposit box. In other words, the Cisco staff could have full access to your safe deposit box. How frightening! Imagine whatever top secret documents or wills in their safe deposit boxes are no longer safe and privy to the owners only! Maybe, someone borrowed those valuables either to pawn or wear them thinking that the owner would not know or even bother to check her safe deposit box. When found out, that culprit quickly put them back. Since the customer didn’t lose anything, no offence disclosed. Everything is back to normal. What offence or crime took place? We can forget about this unfortunate incident and move on. How easy? Even I also can do that.

Is that the way to uphold your reputation? Can you still retain customer’s confidence? Worst still, they tried to cover up by telling the victim not to talk about it? Trying to cover those incompetent top management or Cisco’s image? Only 3rd world under-developed countries adopt such desperate idiotic measures. Not here in Sg where we are No:1 in everything. We are the most efficient, competent and corrupt free financial hub. Yet, those top management bosses drawing fat salary still treat it as business as usual. No heads roll, no public apology. Pretending nothing happened when such gross dereliction of duty occurred. Everything seems to fall apart from transportation woes to itching monkeys hauled to court! Scandal after scandal. Sigh!

Can we still trust our premier security agency to safeguard our vital installations? Can we still trust them to protect and safeguard our ministers’ residences and our Istana? Or do we need another COI to dig out more dirt publicly?

There are banks in every country in the world. But why the filthy rich all over the world love to park their billions in Swiss banks? Why the Swiss banks stand out from the rest? For hundreds of years, the Swiss have an impeccable reputation of trust and reliability on its banking secrecy and efficiency. No one ever complains that he is cheated by a Swiss bank. No one in this world will doubt a Swiss bank. The Swiss earn that solid reputation through centuries of hard work.

Compared to Swiss banks, our own icon DBS bank in Hong Kong had accidentally disposed off 51 safe deposit boxes sometime in 2004! What if I were to claim that I had a billion cash in my safe deposit box which was wrongly disposed off, could DBS verify it? Who is telling the truth?

From reading Jeffrey Archer’s novels, I understand that no staff can access a safe deposit box in a Swiss bank cuz they only keep one key. The owner has the other key. Two keys need to open the safe deposit box. There is no way that the staff in a Swiss bank can recycle your valuables and then put them back like what our Cisco staff did. In another 50 yrs, I doubt we can aspire to the highest standards set by those Swiss banks. We can’t even smell their highest standard, yet we aim to be the financial hub in Asia. We need to seriously self-examine before we boost to the whole world about being number one again.

Is it not a national disgrace and shame to our reputation? Pls prove me wrong. I wish I were wrong. What do you think?

After news broke that at least 8 police reports have been made in regard to items being lost from Certis Cisco safe deposit boxes over the past few weeks (‘Certis CISCO warns clients not to talk to media as missing item cases rose to 8‘), the local media reported that a number of people have rushed to Certis CISCO to check on their safe deposit boxes.

At least 40 over people were seen queuing up at Certis Cisco to get to their safe deposit boxes yesterday (19 Aug) when the reporters arrived to report.

On 11 Jul, a couple, Mr Tham Choon Kan and his wife went to Certis Cisco to deposit some documents into their safe deposit box. To their horror, they found that their jewellery worth about $40,000 went missing. The jewellery includes some 45 bracelets, earrings and necklaces. They have been lying inside the safe deposit box at Certis Cisco for the last 7 years with no problems.

Mr Tham’s wife said, “I would have nothing to say if a burglar entered our house and took these items from us. However, I cannot accept that they are missing from a safe deposit box.”

A police report was lodged by Mr Tham. However, 6 days later, the ‘missing’ jewellery mysteriously reappeared. The missing items reappeared inside the safe deposit box when Mr Tham opened up the safe to aid police investigations. He opened the safe deposit box in the presence of two police officers, a Certis Cisco officer, and his wife. The police are investigating the case.

Since then, other customers have also reported items missing from their safe deposit boxes at Certis Cisco.

One of them is Madam S. E. Goh. Mdm Goh has lodged a police report claiming that she has lost about $20,000 worth of jewellery which includes a diamond bangle and a cat’s-eye ring.

Later Certis Cisco sent her a letter asking her not to make any public statements or approach the media during the police investigation.

Mdm Goh said, “I was hoping that they had found my jewellery and were bringing them to me, but they gave me a letter telling me to keep mum and asked me to sign an acknowledgement slip. It is very tactless on their part to treat clients like that.”

A Certis Cisco spokesman replied that clients who issue public statements may raise “undue concerns and panic” over the security of its facilities. Certis Cisco emphasised that strict security measures are in place to safeguard the safe deposit boxes in the company.

Meanwhile, Mdm Goh has removed all her valuables from the box and said that she will not be renewing her contract with Certis Cisco when it ends next year.

Certis Cisco is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. It operates the largest Auxiliary Police Force in Singapore with over 3,000 officers. It provides protective security services inclduing a full range of physical, IT and data security services.

On its website, it says, “Certis Cisco is the trusted name in security for security solutions that are practical, efficient and affordable.”

Source

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About Alan Tang

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of SG. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share some of the interesting jokes, stories or anecdotes from my friends or observations on my blog. Thanks for visiting my blog.
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26 Responses to Certis CISCO: Cash and valuables missing from safe deposit boxes

  1. certis disco! says:

    From the day this news was reported until now, the management has remained silent on the whole issue. No news release or any update from the cisco management. Interesting! Isn’t it!

    • The usual modus operendi trying to cover their arse! CYA – Cover your arse! In Japan, the CEO would have committed suicide. Not here in Sg, they find scapegoats to keep their fat salary jobs! It’s a sad fact here!

  2. unsafe box says:

    On its website, it says, “Certis Cisco is the trusted name in security for security solutions that are practical, efficient and affordable.” Its website statement tells me nothing about their security solution commitment. The 8 police reports tells me everything about their security quality. It looks more likely that there is a serious systemic problem with their deposit box security system.

    • Not only that, there were many cases of theft of money after all the ATMs collection where the culprit ran back to hometown. I ever read that in the papers but I can’t quote exact details to substantiate. There was another time some “mobile sq” regarding money case which I’m not going into details. The thing here is that they are selling “integrity and trust!” That’s their rice bowl. Once that is lost, don’t ever think of making it big. But then, it’s a duapoly and it used to be monopoly, clients still “trust” them.

      • agongkia says:

        Another choice.I can help them to deposit the item to the pawn shop for safekeeping.

        • Great idea. Got money to spend from pawning your items and still safe keeping. If items lost, pawnshop will have to pay you. After all if you rent safe deposit box also need to pay!

  3. Richdad says:

    Wow! That’s a pretty hard-hitting post there. Seems to me rumours going around to “convert” you to be a MIW is just rumours, huh?

    • There will be rumors and speculation wherever we go. We just can’t live without them. Whatever it is. I am what I am. There is no need to say more.

  4. ape@kinjioleaf says:

    ‘A Certis Cisco spokesman replied that clients who issue public statements may raise “undue concerns and panic” over the security of its facilities.’

    I thought ‘public statements would hinder police investigations’ would be more appropriate.

  5. patriot says:

    Safe deposit customers were reportedly told to buy insurance for the items placed with the safe deposit providers.
    Wonder, how difficult it was/is to have the item(s) recorded/listed with the customer and the provider each holding a copy and even to have one secured in the safe box itself. Buy insurance for item(s) placed in a security agency itself just does not sound right or logical.
    How to trust? How to have faith with these safe deposit box service providers. I just dont understand.

    patriot

    • Usually, items are not recorded. I’m not sure abt that. But to buy insurance? It’s quite ridiculous. It defeats the safe deposit purpose. Tell me do you buy insurance for putting your cash as fixed deposit in a bank? Or do you insured your savings in a bank in case it’s stolen or lost? No logic right?

    • SG Girl says:

      The reason for not having items recorded is due to privacy (even banks do not record their customers’ items that are placed there). Customers would not want anyone to know what they place in the safe desposit boxes. In order for the safe desposit box to be opened, a key from the customer and from the provider must be inserted into the key holes and turn at the same time. Inside the box, there is another metal box where the customer places his/her valuables/documents. For banks, usually a lock is required for the metal box (an additional level of security). In Cisco, the metal box could not be locked.

  6. theonion says:

    Gintai

    SG GIRL is correct on procedures
    Hence unless there are both keys, it should not be able to be opened.
    If there is, CERTIS CISCO would be responsible irrespective of who the employees are.
    So for the cases, itself, frankly, there is no investigation on either parties possible forgetfulness or others.
    Hence, it is always important to ensure you itemised your items in any safe deposit box irrespective of CISCO or etc.
    Further, your comment on CERTIS CISCO should be placed on context

    • How Preposterous says:

      “….So for the cases, itself, frankly, there is no investigation on either parties possible forgetfulness…..”.

      If 8 different people who are not related to one another and each reported that something is missing from their safe deposit box at different time, does it make any sense that all of them have memory lapse and for a short period of time just simply forget what are the items they kept in that small little safe deposit box? And then a few days later accompanied by the cisco staff and police office and ‘miraculously’ they found that little item which they couldn’t find a few days ago in that little safe deposit box. They must all have suffered from memory lapse for some reasons. And we are supposed to believe that. Very interesting!

      • Maybe the 8 victims are lying? That’s what the writer trying to say. The blame is on the 8 forgetful victims.

        • How Preposterous says:

          If that is the truth then the police should charge the 8 persons for making false reports. However, the silent from both the police and cisco on what they have found so far is definitely not helping speculations from going round.

  7. patriot says:

    Wondering again, maybe to no end.

    If safe deposit customers are to insure their belongings, are they going to tell the insurers that they like to keep the items they wanted insured secret?

    Will wonder but not ask question here anymore as me got nothing to keep in safe box or is having any secret.

    patriot

    • agongkia says:

      To me,the only item that you wish to keep and to remain secret is ……a mistress.

      • Are you sure? Unless you hide her in a cave don’t go out with her or else your frens or relatives might see.

        • agongkia says:

          I can share with you my SOP and contingency plan on how to handle if we have a chance to meet up one day.To me,no need to siam oso .
          I am just playing my part helping those in need where the charbo association have difficulty helping.

          • Don’t play play with Charbo Association. They are so powerful that even the govt got to give way to them. One day, they will get you bury you alive in a hole!

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