KARACHI: In the 10th bank robbery of the year, four suspects managed to walk in and walk out with Rs4.5million in less than four minutes.
According to the authorities, at 12pm on Friday, one of the suspects walked into a Bank Al-Falah branch near Khayaban-e-Ittehad and pretended to be a customer.
“When the suspect walked in he went straight to the counter and asked the staff questions about how to open an account so no one was suspicious. The suspect used his cell phone to give two missed calls to his accomplices. Soon after two other men walked in and took the security guards weapons,” said SDPO Zameer Ahmed. “They planned the heist very carefully. The bank they chose is far away from other banks in the area.” He added that the suspects escaped on three motorcycles and did not take the CCTV footage.
Ahmed claimed that they had managed to identify a suspect from the footage but could not give further details.
The blame game
SDPO Ahmed said that although the money in vaults was insured, the banks do not really care how much they lose. “We have been asking them to build bunkers inside the banks but they don’t,” he said. “They say it will make the bank look ugly.”
Explaining the security protocol, the officer said that as per the Standing Operating Procedure, two security guards should have been standing outside the bank.
The residents react
A few shopkeepers and residents gathered outside the bank to check out what had happened.
Even after the suspects escaped no one had an inkling of what was happening inside, it was only when the police arrived that they learnt about the robbery.
“This is the third robbery in the area in the last 15 days,” said an angry shopkeeper. “A few days ago some people robbed a salon, then a general store and now a bank. What will they do next?”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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