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South African criminals have so much to teach the world

This weekend, news in Australia was enlivened by “>revelations of an attempted ATM robbery in Brisbane. In the dead of night on July 26, the Bank of Queensland branch was torn apart by an explosion that damaged nearby stores and threw the ATM into the footpath. The criminals escaped empty-handed and police suspect that at least one of them was injured in the explosion.

It was quite pathetic, really. With the resources boom, Australian criminals should have easy access to commercial explosives.

The only excuse the Australians could possibly offer is inexperience in this new technique. Using explosives to break into ATMs is quite new in Oz, in contrast to South Africa, where criminals have ATM robberies down to a fine art. By July 12 this year, it was reported that no less than 292 ATMs across the land had been bombed, with the crime up 3 000% in the past three years; Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said that the bombings were sophisticated and that the individuals involved in them clearly had a military background.

Perhaps the criminals of Queensland could issue a couple of 457 visas for them. Their skills are clearly needed.


  • During the day Sarah Britten is a communication strategist; by night she writes books and blog entries. And sometimes paints. With lipstick. It helps to have insomnia.