Islamabad: Big bank heists in twin cities
ISLAMABAD, June 23: According to the Dawn News, Bank robbers had a field day in the twin cities on Thursday, emptying two banks of Rs18.5 million and walking away calmly without meeting any resistance.
Police said the Rs16 million taken away from Dubai Islamic Bank in Rawalpindi was the biggest heist in recent memory. In the other robbery, at Bank Alfalah in Islamabad, the amount was not that big but the robbers were audacious enough to come unarmed and still overpower the bank`s two armed guards and take away Rs2.5 million at gunpoint â€“ all in just five minutes.
The guns they pointed were the ones they had snatched from the bank`s guards.
Though the four robbers did not care to cover their faces to avoid recognition, they had sense enough to demand the CCTV equipment that records all the movements in the bank. They spoke Pushto and fled in a tiny Mehran car, according to the police.
But the six who robbed the Dubai Islamic Bank in Rehmanabad locality of Rawalpindi came well prepared and were more methodical.
Two of them wore uniform of a private security company. In fact one was recognised as one who had formerly served as a guard at the very bank. He was identified as Abul Hassan.
Police said the six descended on the bank early at 7:30am and took hostage the bank staff already there. When branch manager Fawad Aziz arrived he was held up at gunpoint. The robbers took away Rs16 million and some valuables from the vaults and fled in a waiting car around 8:30am.
They told the staff that they had planted bombs inside the bank and threatened to blow them up if anybody tried to push the emergency alarm or call the police.
They forced operational managers Shakil Yousuf and Sohail Qadir to unlock the bank`s vault where the cash, including foreign currency, was kept.
In his complaint to police, Aziz said he had checked lockers and other doors when he left the bank on Wednesday. He said as he arrived on Thursday morning, he found Abul Hassan standing outside the bank and helped him park his car.
Accompanying him inside the bank, the former security guard took out the gun. “Abul Hassan locked me in the strong room where other staff was also kept,” Aziz said.
Sarfraz, the police guard constable who arrived around 8:55am, was surprised to see the bank already opened but there was no activity inside. Later, police arrived and recovered the staff from the strong room. Police said the robbers had escaped in a white car they had parked outside the bank.
In Islamabad, four persons entered the Bank Alfalah`s I-11/4 branch and snatched weapons from the two security guards.
A mobile forensic laboratory of police collected evidence from the crime scene as sketches of the robbers were also prepared.