Karachi: Rs5.2m taken away in year’s 17th bank robbery
KARACHI: In yet another heist of its kind, bandits took away Rs5.2 million from a private bank on Business Recorder Road within the remit of the Solider Bazaar police station on Tuesday morning.
The sleepy and untrained security guards at the bank conceded that they did not know how to use the weapons they carried, police said.
This was the 17th bank heist of the year.
In the last such robbery, bandits had taken away Rs5.3 million on Nov 30 from a bank branch in Nazimabad. According to the official data, 22 bank heists took place in the city last year.
Police said four bandits came to the New Town branch of the Soneri Bank situated on Business Recorder Road. They entered the bank at 9am and left the bank premises at around 10.22am, police said.
The bandits first overpowered a security guard sitting near the gate and snatched his weapons.
The guard present inside the branch was almost asleep and was woken up by the intruding suspects, who relieved him of his gun, said SIU SSP Raja Umar Khattab.
Unlike in the previous heists, the bandits did not collect the cellphones from the customers or the bank staff.
Similarly, the bandits did not ask for the CCTV footage from the staff and left the bank in haste leaving the DVR behind, said SSP Khattab.
Referring to the ethnic background of the bandits, the SSP said it was discovered that for the first time suspects from a particular ethic group had committed a bank heist.
Showing the handguns to the staff, the bandits directed them to put their hands on their heads and went to the strongroom of the bank. One of the suspects did not search the cash counter and collected whatever money was on the surface, police said.
SSP-East Javed Odho said the guard present near the bank entrance did not resist and simply handed his weapons to the bandits.
The guard sitting inside that bank had ample time to react if he were awake and surrendered his weapons to the suspects, the SSP said.
“When we asked the guards why they didn’t open fire on the suspects, they replied that they didn’t know how to use the weapons,” the SSP told Dawn quoting the guard.
“We have taken the guards’ statement duly signed by them, and we hope to get the licence of the company cancelled,” the SSP said.
“Although the suspects are visible coming on foot into the bank branch, police suspect that they used motorcycles to come to and get away from the branch.”
The Soldier Bazaar police station registered a case (FIR 322/11) under Sections 392 (punishment for robbery) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of the bank manager, Kashif Chaudhry.