Rs 2.5m looted from bank


As the incidents of bank robberies are frequenting in this commercial hub of the country, the law enforcers have found three types of groups involved in the heist. These groups are: activists of outlawed outfits, the affluent youngsters and organised gangs of dacoits.
Thursday saw unidentified robbers looting around Rs 2.5 million from a private bank in Gulberg area. The official data made available to Pakistan Today show that during the last three years the city’s commercial banks have lost over Rs 200 million to unidentified robbers.
“The members of banned organisations, street criminals and dacoits are involved in such robberies,” SSP Khurram Waris told Pakistan Today. According to official figures, so far during 2012 at least six banks have been looted and the criminals robbed over Rs 20 million in their successful attempts.
In 2011, the robbers targeted some 19 banks in the violence-hit city including MCB Bank, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Allied Bank in the South Zone, Habib Bank, Askari Bank, two branches of UBL, KASB Bank, two branches of Metropolitan Bank, Sonehri Bank in the East Zone and Summit Bank, HBL, Bank Islami, two branches of UBL, Faisal Bank, NIB Bank were robbed in the West Zone of the city.
The UBL appeared to be the main target of robbers as five of the bank’ branches were looted in the daylight.
The robbers looted over Rs 20 million cash, thousands of US dollar, Euro, prize bonds from the banks, looted in the South Zone while Rs 21 million US dollars and Euro costs of thousands, gold and prized bonds were robbed from the banks of East Zone and Rs 26 million were looted from the banks of West Zone. The robbers also snatched mobiles and other valuables things and weapons from the staff members and guards of the banks. Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of Karachi police solved 12 cases out of 19 and arrested 20 robbers and recovered one motorcycle, 15 million rupees, one mobile phone and one Kalashnikove. Same as in 2010, the criminal groups looted 22 banks in the city including four in South Zone, six in East Zone and 12 in South Zone.
In South Zone three branches of HBL, ABL, and in East Zone, two branches of Soneri Bank, ABL, Al Habib, UBL, Qumi Bachat Bank while in West Zone two branches of HBL and ABL each, four branches of UBL and one branch of Qumi Bachat Bank, Askari Bank, Tamir Bank and NIB Bank were looted. West Zone was the main target of the culprits while five branches of HBL and UBL each were targeted.
More than 45 million rupees were looted in 2010 in 22 bank docoities including 10 million from the banks of south zone, more than 17 million rupees from banks of East Zone and 25 million rupees from the banks of the West Zone while valuable things of millions were also looted in these criminal activities.
The SIU claimed to have solved 14 cases out of 22 in this year and arrested 23 member of dacoits groups while one was killed in an encounter. SSP Khurram Waris told Pakistan Today that police thoroughly investigated the cases and divided the looters in three groups. There are different organised groups including religious extremist, adventurous and professional criminals who are making robberies in the banks.
Extremists of banned outfits are robbing banks to raise money for their organisation and they are considering it a part of their holy ideology while professionals are looting the bank for their own usage to improve their lavish life style, he said and added “Interestingly there is another group who makes such type of activities just to enjoy adventures”.
Police have struck back, arresting 42 activists of banned outfits in 2010 and 2011 in connection with various robberies, he said. He also revealed that the activists of banned organizations are working in very organized way and they are getting penetration in security agencies and due to the poor structure of security agencies, the suspects are getting success in their targets. In the MCB robbery, a security guard, Muhammad Anwar, aided five accomplices, police contended. Anwar allowed the robbers to enter the bank and helped them clean out counters and drawers, bank manager Abdul Saboor told police. Anwar and three other suspects are at large, but police have detained Sarwar and Sher Zaman in that case.
Security guards have been involved in other bank robberies, Bari said. “We have written letters to the Sindh Home Department to direct the security companies to prepare a fool-proof mechanism for the verification of their existing strength of guards and to make sure that extremists do not find their place in these companies,” he said.