A MAN who assisted in robbing the ANZ Automatic Teller Machine at Kwaimani Building, East Honiara, in 2014 has been jailed for two and half years, Wednesday.
Severio Sulimae had pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery and one count of malicious damage.
This relates to the incident on the night of 25 July 2014, where Sulimae and his co-accused uprooted the ATM machine, damaged it and removed more than $260,000 from it.
Magistrate Fatima Taeburi in her sentencing remarks told Sulimae that there is a need for both specific and deterrence in his case.
“A sentence imposed here must be able to deter this prisoner and other like minded offenders, Ms Taeburi said.
“I take judicial notice of the fact that in the recent years, the offence of armed robbery on banks is becoming prevalent in our society.”
She said the offence was committed against a commercial institution, being the ANZ Bank, who provides services for the general public of this country.
“The offenders have stolen from the Bank and also from the people of Solomon Islands who use ANZ banking services.
“Banking institutes and their customers must always feel secure and the laws of this country must always protect their security,” Ms Taeburi said.
She said banks must feel protected to invest in this country.
“Equally, the general public must also feel safe to save their money in these banks.”
Ms Taeburi added that without this sense of security, the operations of commercial holdings like ANZ is at risk.
She said the true victims are not only the investors, but more significantly, the general public.
The court heard that the ATM machine contained almost $400,000 and Sulimae was given about $51,000 of the $262,900 stolen that night.
Ms Taeburi said in addition to the substantial amount of money lost, ANZ also lost a valuable and expensive property being the ATM machine.
Sulimae was the driver of the vehicle used to transport the ATM machine to Alligator Creek at Henderson.
After uprooting the ATM machine they took it up to Alligator Creek and broke the machine.
The court heard Sulimae was given a plastic of money which he gave his wife and his wife left for Malaita the same day.
Sulimae was arrested by police at the wharf in Honiara whilst his wife was taken by police in Auki and brought back to Honiara.
Police took the plastic of money from her that day.
The court also took into account mitigating features of his case, and some of which are, he is a father of six children, he pleaded guilty to the charges and he has no previous convictions.
A sentence of four and a half years was imposed for the armed robbery charge while four months imprisonment was imposed for the malicious damage charge.
All sentences were ordered to run concurrently given that they arose from the same transaction.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Clifton Ruele represented Sulimae while Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda represented the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN