KARACHI: A gang of robbers looted about Rs2.2 million from a branch of Allied Bank Limited in Mehmoodabad within the limits of Tipu Sultan police station, on Friday.
At least six armed men reached the bank situated near Ambala Sweets in the vicinity of Sharae Faisal at around 11:45am. Two of the men stayed outside the bank while the other four entered the bank. The armed men initially held the two private security guards hostage at gunpoint and snatched their weapons, said SHO Shaukat Malhan. Moving inside the bank, they held the staff members and customers hostage and warned them of dire consequences if anyone tried to offer resistance.
The dacoits later collected approximately Rs2.2 million from the cash counter and escaped along with the looted money. They also took away the security guards’ weapons after completing their swift operation. According to witnesses, the robbers were seemingly professional and they took a maximum of ten minutes to complete their operation.
Following the robbery, law enforcers reached the bank and recorded the witnesses’ statements along with collecting circumstantial evidence. They also obtained the footages recorded by the DVR system installed at the bank. The footage suggests that the suspects wore helmets and masks to hide their identification. “They were apparently of mixed ethnicity and talking to each other in different languages,” Special Investigation Unit’s DSP Usman Asghar told The Express Tribune.
This was the 18th bank robbery in the current year and the second during the month of Ramazan. Earlier in February, about Rs1.4 million were robbed by a group of robbers from the same bank. Investigators believe that the same group of robbers might have been behind both incidents. “We are sure that the mode of action was the same,” said DSP Asghar, while talking to The Express Tribune. Police have detained the guards of the bank to get any possible clues to probe the case. A case has been registered against unidentified persons.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.