Robbers struck two banks in Green Town on Thursday, making off with some Rs9 million as well as CCTV footage of the robberies.
Police officials said that the Allied Bank Limited branch at Lajna Chowk was robbed of Rs4.535 million by four men including one of its security guards. The United Bank Limited branch at Ghazi Chowk was robbed of Rs4.475 million by five armed men. Members of both gangs spoke Pashto, said the police officials. The banks were robbed several hours apart, but the police said they were different groups.
ASI Ashraf said that the robbery at Allied Bank in the morning appeared to have been conducted by a security guard and three of his friends or relatives. He said that Najad Khan from Parachinar had been hired via Makhdoom Security Company. He said that Najad and three men arrived at the bank at around 6am and waited inside. When staff arrived, they were held up at knife point and told to turn customers away. The robbers got the keys to the safe from a staffer and emptied it of Rs4.535 million. Before leaving at around 9am in a white Toyota Corolla, they also took the CCTV recording machine with them.
ASI Ashraf said that the other robbery began at around 1.10pm, when five men in a Suzuki Cultus pulled up at the United Bank on Ghazi Road. One of the robbers went in first to clear the entrance, getting into a scuffle with one of the guards. The guards did not fire any shots, however, said the ASI. The robbers then went inside and held up staff and customers. They took away about Rs4.475 million in about 15 minutes. They too took the bank’s CCTV recording machine with them.
Township ASP Fida Hussain said that the butt of a gun used by one of the robbers had been left behind and collected as evidence. He said a finger print had been lifted from the butt. Fingerprints had also been lifted from two knives found at the ABL.
He said that the UBL robbery appeared to have been committed by the group behind 10 bank heists in Lahore over the last year. He said that they had taken the CCTV recording machine with them so they could not be identified.
He said that security guards from both banks were being held for questioning.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.
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