Karachi: Rs2 million heist in Gulberg bank branch
KARACHI: Armed men stormed into the Gulberg branch of a foreign bank on Thursday, disarmed the security guards and held them at gunpoint with the bank staff before walking off with more than two million rupees, police said. They said though the bank staff saw some four armed men inside the bank, it was believed that the robbers had an accomplice outside the Dubai Islamic Bank branch of Gulberg in Federal B Area, near Naseerabad. The episode that lasted eight minutes came as a sixth such incident of robbery registered this year.
“It was around 4.30pm and the banking hours of the branch were about to end when the armed men stormed in,” said DSP Rahmatullah, the area’s sub–divisional police officer (SDPO). “Only a few customers were in the branch that made the bandits’ job easier.”
They first snatched the shotguns from the guards before holding the staff hostage, he said, adding that a member or two of the bank staff hid a larger chunk of cash from the bandits.
“The staff was handling millions of rupees as a daily closing time routine. But someone from the staff smelled a rat and managed to hide part of the money before the bandits moved to the cash counter,” said DSP Rahmatullah.
After spending a few minutes inside the branch, the bandits drove away in a car and on a motorcycle parked outside. The bandits, the police said, carried pistols and wore no masks. The security guards failed to move, they added.
On June 1, bandits took away Rs3.5 million from a bank branch in the Defence Housing Authority and on May 14, Rs6.8 million was taken away in a bank heist in Naval Colony in Baldia Town. The city has witnessed six bank robberies this year and after almost every incident the investigators managed to acquire the recording of the incident made by closed circuit television cameras.
Last year, in the 19 heists the robbers took away more than Rs70 million from different bank branches in the city. The Thursday incident also attracted the same strategy from the officials, who said they had been coordinating with the special wings as well to trace the bandits’ identity and links.
“We are in touch with the special investigation unit and the forensic unit as well,” said Inspector Amjed Kayani, the SHO of the Gulberg police station. “A peculiar trend and modus operandi has been seen in every bank robbery. So, one cannot rule out coordination among different gangs.”