Islamabad: Rs2.4 million bank robbery at RA Bazaar
ISLAMABAD: Daring gunmen committed robbery at a bank located in the crowded RA Bazaar here on Tuesday. Wounding two security guards, they took away Rs2.4 million after holding staff members and clients hostage, police said.
The Cantonment Police later arrested one of the robbers, alleged to be former army personnel. Police recovered Rs1.8 million from his possession, police said. Five men, equipped with weapons, stormed into the Habib Bank Limited, Bakra Mandi Branch, at about 11 a.m. and held staff members and clients with their guns, asking them not to move.
The ringleader, straightaway, went to the manager’s cabin and asked him to follow his directions otherwise he would be killed. The remaining gunmen held all staff members and clients at gunpoint, said police, quoting statements of staff members.
According to police, robbers took over the control of the bank after snatching guns from guards. A robber went to the cash counter and swept all the money, while others collected Rs2.4 million from the strong room. Police said that luckily the cash van of the State Bank of Pakistan had not reached the bank to deliver cash till that time.
Meanwhile, two guards of a private security agency — Rehman Abbas, son of Bagh, resident of Dhoke Syedan, and Jahangir Khan, son of Mohammad Sadiq, resident of Hayyal Sharif tried to capture one of the dacoits but they were beaten up with guns and wounded, police said. The robbers tied both guards with rope and started their operation again. The wounded guards were later shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital.
The dacoits confined staff members and the manager in a room and left the bank without any resistance. Police, quoting eyewitnesses, said that the robbers escaped in a Suzuki Mehran car bearing registration number IDS-2825 towards the city.
SP (Potohar) Raja Basharat reached the scene soon after receiving information about the robbery and collected evidence from the bank, witnesses said. They claimed that till that time, the SHO (RA Bazaar) was unaware of the robbery. The SP alerted the policemen posted at pickets and mobile police about the car used in the robbery, police said.
In the meantime, the car driven by the ringleader, who was later identified as Iqbal Khan, appeared on the main road in Saddar, which was heading towards Peshawar Road, police said. The mobile police of the Cantonment Police Station intercepted the car and overpowered the driver and shifted him to the police station. Police claimed that Rs1.8 million, masks and firearms were recovered from the car.
The arrested ringleader of the gang, Iqbal Khan, son of Hayatullah, belonged to Mardan and said to be an ex-army man, police said. Taking notice of the criminal negligence of the area police, the city police officer (CPO) suspended RA Bazaar Police Station SHO Allah Yar, while police officials, who arrested the culprits, were rewarded with cash and appreciation certificates.