Karachi: Rs5.2m looted in third bank heist of month
KARACHI: Armed robbers stormed into a private bank branch in a Nazimabad locality, held the staff and security guards hostage and walked off with Rs5.2 million on Tuesday, police said. This was the third bank heist in the city this month as the previous two bank robberies had taken place on Oct 6 and Oct 19.
Thirteen bank robberies have so far taken place in the city during the current year, according to official data. The police said that five gunmen entered the Faisal Bank branch in the Golimar sanitary market at around 9.15am. Initially, the police said, one of the robbers entered the bank and asked the staff that he wanted to use the bank toilet. Soon after, his other accomplices followed him, overpowered two security guards and held the staff and customers hostage at gunpoint.
They said the robbers headed towards the bank’s strong room directly after snatching keys from the staff. The police said that the robbers also took away the digital video recorder containing CCTV recordings from the bank.
However, they returned the repeater gun to the security guards saying it was of no use to them.
SP Noman Siddiqi told Dawn that the bank’s washrooms were located next to the strong room on the first floor of the bank.
He said one security guard was deputed at the gate and the other posted on the stairs. However, when the police asked the guards that why they didn’t fire at the suspects, one of them replied that he had kept his cartridges in the cabinet, he said.
“At around 9.16am, the bank staff pressed the button of the alarm connected to a private security company which is supposed to respond to the alarm. They called back at the bank at around 9.33am, when the robbers had gone away with the cash,” said SP Siddiqi.
Inspector Irfan Haider, the SHO of the Rizvia police station, said that police questioned the security guards and found that one of the guards, Nadeemuddin, used to sell vegetables while the second one, Illyas, was a motor mechanic before joining the private security company.
“The bank branch remained open for business on Saturday and Rs5.2 million lost in the heist was the leftover cash of Saturday,” said the area SHO, adding: “Since the cash van arrives at 10am and the sanitary market doesn’t open before 12noon, it seems that someone from inside had leaked the information”.
The transport used by the robbers was not clear as the bank guards didn’t bother to notice their vehicle, the SHO added.
A case (FIR 316/2011) was registered under Section 359 (punishment for dacoity) and 34 (common intention) at the Rizvia police station on a complaint of bank manager Khawar Abbas against unknown persons.
In the first week of October, armed robbers took away Rs4.5 million from a private bank branch in North Nazimabad. Another bank heist took place on Oct 19 when armed robbers walked off with Rs2.2 million from another bank branch located on Rashid Minhas Road.