Men in police uniform robbed a bank in Green Town of Rs4 million on Tuesday in a lightning raid similar to an unsolved bank robbery 30 days ago. Police said that it was the handiwork of the same gang.
The robbers, three of whom were in Muhafiz Force uniforms, disarmed the guards at the Allied Bank branch on Madre Millat Road, took the money and left the scene within two minutes, said police and witnesses.
“It all happened really quickly,” said Ashraf, a bystander. “They seemed very professional. I thought they were policemen.”
Police said that the four robbers in a white Toyota Corolla parked near the bank at around 11am. They forced the guards at the door to give up their rifles and walked inside. A third guard, 55-year-old Muhammad Sadiq, was shot in the foot and disarmed inside. The robbers fired a total of six shots while inside, said the police. They took Rs4 million and sped away in the car towards Hamdard Chowk.
Sub Inspector Malik Ejaz said that the bank manager, Faisal Akram, had told him that he thought the robbers were police officials conducting routine checks. There were 16 people inside when the robbery occurred. He said that the whole robbery took about two minutes.
Forensics experts later arrived at the scene and collected finger prints. Police sources said that CCTV footage of the incident didn’t appear to include any clear shots of the robbers’ faces, but analysis of the video was continuing.
Green Town Station House Officer Inspector Amir Saleem said that the bank’s security had done a very poor job. He said he had visited the banks twice a week since the robbery last month and told them not to allow any armed police officers inside. He said that the guard inside had not fired a single shot at the intruders. “It seems he was just waiting for them to take his gun,” he said.
The SHO said that the bank was robbed by the same gang that hit the Faysal Bank branch on Maulana Shaukat Ali Road in Faisal Town on September 25, also at 11am, taking Rs1.3 million in ten minutes. On that occasion, five men in police uniform entered the bank while a sixth man in a white shalwar kameez acted as their driver.
Iqbal Town Superintendent of Police Muntazir Mehdi, who also has acting charge of Saddar Division, also said that the same gang was responsible for both robberies.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2011.
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