Lahore: Rs9 million taken away in 2 bank heists
LAHORE: In what appears to be more daring acts of bank robbery, a security guard with his accomplices and another gang of four gunmen looted Rs9 million in two bank heists on College Road in Township on Thursday. Police claim to have arrested a member of one the gangs near Thokar Niaz Baig flyover after a message was radioed about the car being used by suspects. Police record says that robbers have committed eight bank heists in the city in the first six months and 19 days of 2012.
Green Town police said that in the first incident, the security guard of Allied Bank of Lajna Chowk branch struck with his three accomplices and took away Rs4.6 million in an early morning strike. Guard Nijat Hussain Khan arrived at the bank at 6am, one hour before his scheduled time, and asked the night-shift guard to hand over him the charge.
Later, with the help of his three accomplices, he tied the night-shift guard and an office boy. In the next two hours, Nijat in uniform stood at the entrance while his accomplices stayed inside. He kept welcoming employees one by one while the gangsters inside kept them tying with ropes.
By 9am, suspects looted Rs4.6 million, removed the DVR of the surveillance camera and fled. Suspects kept cleaning different objects to remove their finger-prints.
In the second incident which took place at 1:30pm, a robber held the security guard of the United Bank Limited branch on College Road and injured him.
Soon three other gunmen also joined him who held two other bank guards, employees and customers at gunpoint.
The suspects first looted cash from the counter and then the strong room. They took away Rs4.4 million and two cell phones from bank manager Muhammad Asif.
The suspects, who completed the robbery in seven to eight minutes, also removed CCTV footage and locked the bank door while leaving the scene.
Soon after the second robbery, witnesses alerted emergency police about a white Cultus car (LQR–663) being used by the four suspects.
A message was radioed on police wireless across the city and patrolling police started checking white Cultus cars on roads.
Some Mohafiz Force spotted white car near Thokar Niaz Baig flyover and managed to capture one of the four suspects. Green Town police registered separate cases on the complaints of managers Yasir Abbas and Muhammad Yousaf.
Green Town circle ASP Fida Hussain said security guard Nijat Hussain of Parachanar had joined the bank 20 days ago and that he was associated with the Mustang Security Agency.
He said his fellow guard, who belonged to Kohat and was at night duty, was also taken into custody for interrogation.
He said Nijat and his accomplices were so professional that they knew how to wipe out evidence at the crime spot.
He said Allied Bank’s chief security officer claimed that the security company violated the bank’s SOP regarding a ban on recruitment of guards belonging to the tribal area.
The ASP said the complainant held the security company responsible for criminal negligence in the FIR.
DIG (Operations) Rai Muhammad Tahir said both robberies were committed by separate groups.
He said banks’ guards never opened fire at robbers which made their job easier.
Meanwhile, a police investigator said at least three members of 34-member gang were already in police custody.
He said they used to operate in Karachi and Lahore.