Karachi: Bank robbers take away Rs5 million
KARACHI: A gang of three robbers accompanied by a private security guard took away nearly Rs5 million from a bank in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Thursday. Sharea Faisal police said Saleem Abdullah, the guard who was deputed at the branch of Soneri Bank in Block 18, seemed to have masterminded and executed the robbery with his three accomplices.
They said the suspect came to the branch at around 7.30am to relieve two security guards, Mohammed Ishaq and Mohammed Arif.
The police quoted the two guards as saying that the suspect along with his accomplices stormed into the bank when the door was opened.
They told the police that the robbers snatched a pistol from Ishaq and, trussing them up, locked them in a room.
The police said the culprits waited for the staff in the bank and kept on holding the incoming staffers hostage at gunpoint.
The police lodged an FIR against the guard and his accomplices on the complaint of the bank manager, Abdul Baqi, who reported to the police that the dacoits had looted Rs49,22,000 from the cash counter and the vault.
SHO Nadeem Ahmed told Dawn that the recording of the closed-circuit television was available as what the robbers had taken away from the bank was actually a dummy VCR.
He said the address of suspect Abdullah on his computerized national identity card was fake. “We have learnt that he originally hailed from Peshawar,” the SHO said.
He said the remaining three robbers were also identifiable in the footage.
The police officer said the two guards, already present in the bank, were apparently not involved in the robbery – a fact corroborated by the CCTV footage.
The incidence of bank robberies has registered an upward trend in the recent past. According to reports in the press, 42 bank robberies took place in the country from March 2004 to August 20, 2007 in which a total of Rs296.1 million was looted. Out of these, 32 bank robberies took place in Karachi alone. Sources said the guards of private security companies deployed at banks were involved in at least 20 of all the robberies committed across the country, lending credence to the fact that either the management of the security companies did not bother to verify the character and antecedents of their guards or they were careless about selecting the right type of guards, especially for duties at banks.
A bank official said the banks were themselves providing opportunities to guards by making them stay inside the bank, both on duty and off duty, after the closing time of the bank.
Facts and figures obtained by Dawn from police showed that at 21 least robberies took place in parts of Karachi during the year 2007.
Three bank robberies each were committed in Ferozabad and North Nazimabad police areas, two each in Azizabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, and one each in the police precincts of Gulberg, Gulbahar, Sharifabad, Taimuriya, Gulishtan-Jauhar, Soldier Bazar, Shah Faisal Colony, Sharea Faisal, Pirabad and Site.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.