Written by on June 17, 2019


IT IS shocking that a defenceless and simple banker can take off with such huge sums of money and we remain with no clue about her whereabouts yet we have individuals in the security wings behaving like everything is alright, a local politician  has complained.

Commenting on Pamela Gondwe, the now famous Barclays Bank employee who stole over US $400, 000 after opening the bank vault, Enock Tonga, leader of , 3rd Liberation Movement (3rdLM), said the security of the country was at stake and that those charged with the responsibility of ensuring that Zambia was safe must be ashamed of themselves.

He said it was surprising that security wings were working with a business-as-usual attitude yet its mantra had been put to test by a simple female employee who had eluded them and wondered if systems in place had the capacity to follow up  serious security threats and attacks as the case was in other countries.

“Pamela has been gone for almost a week now with such a huge amount of money and our security does not see anything unusual about that. For someone to steal such a huge amount of money, she did not plan it in one day and was probably not alone but our security failed to detect and prevent the crime. What kind of security do we have in this country?

“Imagine a case where we have a terrorist invasion, can we manage to foil an attack? By now, Pamela should have been on the wanted list of the Interpol but she is not and that shows that there is very little collaboration between our police and their international colleagues. What is the Ministry of Home Affairs doing? What is the police command doing?” Mr. Tonga asked.

He said the security wings’ response to cases of security was worrying.

“The problem we have is that we have taken the peace we have been enjoying since independence for granted and this could prove costly in case of any eventualities because we are so casual over security matters in this country,” he warned.

But have maintained that the matter has not been reported to them to warrant taking of action.

The matter was reported to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) which also handles money laundering related activities.

Pamela made off with more than US$400,000 from her long acres Barclays Bank branch office after duping her colleague.

The cash, all in hard currency, were removed from the Barclays safe by Pamela while her collegue was out.


 According to Face  book postings, the  Zambian crime squad feels frustrated but determined to get her arrested as the money stolen has potential of affecting the country’s inflation.

An alert was issued an hour before the Ethiopian airline carrying Pamela landed in Tanzania and authorities in that country confirmed and assured that the plane had not landed yet but was being expected.

It has also been learnt that shortly after the plane arrived some Tanzanian authorities agents confirmed that Pamela had been arrested upon arrival but surprisingly this information was withdrawn later. The security agencies in Tanzania reversed their confirmation of the arrest but the CCTV at the airport showed Pamela arriving in Tanzania.

The source said because of the amount involved, their colleagues from Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) took keen interest in the matter and really helped in alerting other international agencies. It has been deemed the quickest response and international alert made with assurance for cooperation worldwide.

From her Facebook post, it has established that Pamela earlier travelled to Spain on a private visit with her Ugandan lover, Mr Jonsen Erics. Otherwise all the employment records show that she is single.

Still others think she could be in North Africa, Ghana in particular with a suspected boyfriend or that she could have gone back to Spain.

The calculated risk and brazen heist

In one of her Facebook posts, Pamela boasts about taking calculated risks and not being content with what she has.

She talks about how she yearns to travel and that for her, the journey must start as soon as she lands.

On her Facebook, there are pictures of her on holiday abroad and seemingly having a good time.

Many people are therefore not surprised that Pamela did the unthinkable. Robbed a bank.

Pamela went to work carrying an empty bag and claimed that she had just bought it from a vendor at Longacres.

She left the bag in the vault room and last Monday, Pamela told a workmate at the Vault section that she had received instructions from the Head Office to get the serial numbers for all the US Dollars in the Vault.

The two then entered the Vault and started serializing the batches of US dollars in the Vault.

Midway, Pamela offered her female colleague some food which was cold and the colleague decided to go and warm it from the staff canteen and eat it from there.

Pamela then quickly loaded all the US Dollars in the bag and hid the bag within the banking premises. This was only notice when Closed Circuit Television (CCT) was later reviewed.

When her colleague returned, Pamela had already locked her part and told her colleague that she had locked her part and was on her way to the Saloon for a quick retouch to her hair.

She then used the back door out of the bank to the alley between Puma Filling Station and the Bank through to Longacres market and disappeared, leaving behind her mobile phone.

Later Bank official became suspicious after she did not return and they managed to open the Vault using a master key only to find that US$400,000 dollars missing.

As a Premier Retail Support Staff at the Bank, Pamela was getting about K20,000 a month as salary.


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