Bank cash van driver decamps with Rs 525m


In a rare incident, the driver of a private bank drove away the cash carry van with Rs 525 million while the security guard escorting the vehicle had gone to top up credit on his mobile phone. Later, Civil Lines police recovered the van abandoned near the Civil Hospital, but there was no cash in it. According to details, a private bank with its head office at Circular Road sent its security van to collect cash from its branch in Rail Bazaar area, the major financial centre of the city.
Driver Sajid of Chak No 215 RB, Jarranwala Road, was accompanied by three security guards. After collecting the cash, the team returned to the main branch. As the two security guards went inside the branch to bring more cash and their third colleague, guarding the vehicle, went to a nearby shop to get balance for his mobile phone, the driver, Sajid, drove away the vehicle with the money. The bank sources said there were Rs 525 million in the van which were to be deposited in State Bank.
Lyallpur Town SP Asmat Ullah Junejo arrived at the scene and detained three security guards for interrogation for their possible involvement in the case. The SHOs of Civil Lines and Rail Bazaar, later, recovered the van abandoned near Civil Hospital two kilometres away from the scene of the crime. The police took the mother and a brother of the driver into custody to track down the accused. The incident has panicked the business community that has expressed their dissatisfaction over the security situation in the city several times in the past.
However, the incident is being taken as a breach of trust instead of a security breach according to the bank sources. Two days back, a gang of six dacoits snatched from a bank guard his rifle and took away Rs 820,000 at Samundary Road. The police are still clueless to the robbers. This year has witnessed four big cases of robberies in a number of banks in the city.
FAKE FOOD INSPECTOR ARRESTED: After reports of corruption in the city government’s health department, police arrested a front man of senior health officials for allegedly taking money from factories in their names. The arrest has been made on the special orders of DCO Nasim Sadiq who came to know about the scam involving a group of the health officers who were using the accused as a pawn to bargain with businessmen.
According to details, accused Qamar-uz-Zaman, a resident of Railway Colony, Abdullahpur, was arrested by Millat Town police while he was receiving money from Muhammad Aslam, the owner of an ice factory at Chak No 202, Gutty East. He impersonated as a food inspector and collected money from factories and shops on monthly basis in return for the health department’s silence over the violations of rules and regulations.
Later, the accused told an inquiry committee that he was operating along with a gang comprising serving and retired employees of the health department, including Faryad, Sheikh Shahzad, Faqeer Hussain and Baba Siddique who were embezzling money from the factories and shops under the threats of prosecution. He also admitted that the-five member gang was operating for more than one year with impunity.
The accused made a stunning revelation before the committee that the gang was working under the protection and patronage of senior health officials, including District Officer Health Dr Muhammad Akram and food inspectors Malik Qayyum and Muhammad Arif. DCO Nasim Sadiq stopped DO Health Dr Muhammad Akram from working till the conclusion of the inquiry.
Meanwhile, he has directed the police to take strict action against all the officials involved in the scam. In a relevant development, the DCO has issued fresh orders regarding the functioning of the food inspectors. According to the new rules, the food inspectors’ powers to collect samples from factories and shops have been withdrawn. The business community has welcomed the arrest of the fake food inspector and has urged the DCO to ensure merit and transparency in the case.
The community, extending a qualified response to the incident, has appealed to the DCO to launch a crackdown on other government departments as well.


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