KARACHI: A day after a group of muggers opened three and a half dozen lockers at a private bank branch in the Sakhi Hassan neighborhood of Karachi during an eight-hour theft, police registered an FIR against an unidentified suspect on Monday.
The case was registered on the complaint of a bank manager, Denmark, at the Taimuria police station. The complainant said he received information about the robbery at 6am on Sunday. He said he found the locker open when he reached the bank and also found the security guard, Inam, tied with a rope. The guard informed the manager that he was back at the bank at 9:30 pm on the Saturday after dinner.
According to the bank security guard’s statement to the police, the security guard from the security company had twice arrived at the branch during the robbery but did nothing, the suspect used a white car in the robbery. Investigators are trying to get CCTV camera footage from around the bank to track and arrest them.
Police said 42 bank lockers had been opened, adding that they were not insured. They said the branch’s DVR system was not connected to headquarters, adding that they would easily get the suspect’s footage if the system had been connected to headquarters.
Officials said a day earlier that a group of four suspects broke into the bank, held the security guard hostage at gunpoint, tied him with rope and then opened the locker inside.
They said the robbers broke into the bank at 9 p.m. on Saturday and stayed inside until 5 a.m. on Sunday, at which time they were carrying millions of rupees worth of valuables. Police said they had detained two bank guards to help with the investigation, because they believed a friend of one of the guards was involved in the robbery.
Officials said the guard Inam told them that he and his friend had left for dinner Saturday night, and on returning to the bank, he found four men there. He said he was held hostage at gunpoint and taken to a bank. Police said the security alarm went off when the locker was broken into, but security company staff visited the bank only from outside and returned. The official said the guards did not put up a fight, adding that police were notified of the theft one hour after the robbers left the bank because the guards were tied with ropes before the lockers were broken.
They said the robbers opened 34 lockers during their eight-hour operation and then brought in jewelery, cash, bonds and other items worth millions of rupees. Police said the robbers had taken the gas cutters and two cylinders with them, adding that the suspect also took the DVR while running away.
SSP Haider Raza of the Criminal Investigation Agency told the media that the robbers were well prepared, as they were aware of the ongoing construction work at the bank. He said the suspects even knew what time the security guards used to go out for dinner.
Officials said security company staff had arrived outside the bank again at 5 a.m. and saw the two suspects there, adding that a commotion had prompted the other two to leave the bank, after which they all fled.
Inam said the robbers had worn the shalwar kameez and chatted in Pashto. Apart from detaining Inam and other security guards, the police are also looking for Inam’s friends who accompany her to dinner. Inam has been a security guard at the bank for nine years.
This is Karachi’s second major bank robbery in less than a month, indicating that robbery has increased in the city and law enforcement agencies continue to fail to curb this threat as well as street crimes.
On March 17, four men had robbed a bank branch at Do Minute Chowrangi in New Karachi. They had grossed over Rs1 million before injuring two bank security guards.
Clad in shalwar kameez, the suspects entered the bank and held staff members, customers and security guards hostage at gunpoint. Witnesses said the robbers had fired at least two warning shots upon entering, after which they took everyone hostage and also injured two guards by beating them with guns.
In addition to this bank robbery, on April 5, prize bonds worth Rs30 million were also looted from a deliveryman on Jamshed Road, considered to be the biggest robbery of the year.