Police arrest gang involved in Karachi’s longest heist

Published: July 5, 2019
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ILLUSTRATION: MOHSIN ALAM

ILLUSTRATION: MOHSIN ALAM

KARACHI: Police claim to have arrested four robbers, including a husband and wife, in what is being touted as the longest heist in the city’s history. The law enforcers also claimed to have seized Rs15 million worth of stolen gold from their possession.

Central SSP Arif Aslam Rao, who announced the arrest in a press conference on Thursday, said that the accused had carried out a robbery at Ehsan Jewelry Shop in Hyderi Market on the night between the 5th and 6th of June, 2019. The robbers had escaped with 5.5 kilogrammes of gold worth millions of rupees, after which the police had registered a case, 19/130, at Hyderi Police Station.

According to the SSP, the accused had entered the jeweler’s shop through a shoe store adjacent to it, by breaking the latter’s locks and then breaking the walls between the two shops. The robbers had used small hand tools to break the wall to avoid making noise. Three of them had entered the jeweler’s shop, broken the lockers and stolen the gold. The robbery had been carried out on the first day of Eidul Fitr and the robbers had stayed inside for 21 hours.

SSP Rao said that the police reached the spot soon after the incident and started the investigation after gathering evidence, including CCTV footage and forensic samples from the shop. During the course of the investigation, the police learnt that there were at least eight to 10 accused involved in the robbery.

The SSP said that the police had made a breakthrough a days earlier, during the investigation, which had been ongoing for a month. The investigators, aided by technical staff, arrested four accused involved in the robbery and seized stolen gold worth over Rs15 million from their possession.

The arrested accused were identified as Habibur Rehman alias Nadeem Lahori alias Munir, son of Muhammad Bakhsh, his wife Sameera Habib, Adeel Manzoor, son of Manzoor Cheema and Waqar Ahmed.

Modus operandi

SSP Rao said that the accused fled to Punjab immediately after the robbery. Their gang comprises two groups. One of them searches an easy target from Punjab to Karachi and the other plans the robbery once the target is found.

On the day of the robbery, one group breaks the locks and carries out the actual robbery while the other stays on standby, monitoring the area and staying in touch with those inside through mobile phones.

According to the police, the gang group has been involved in similar robberies in the past and several of its members have been sent to prison after getting arrested by Ferozabad Police.

Meanwhile, police are making efforts to arrest the head of the group, Muhammad Shafiq alias Shafiq Ustad alias Shafiq Mota.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2019.

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