Karachi: A gang of unidentified armed men robbed millions of rupees from the branch of a private bank in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on Tuesday. The robbers wounded a security guard who tried to stop them. They managed to escape within 10 minutes of the robbery.
According to witnesses, a group of four armed men entered the Soneri Bank at 10am. While they were entering, the security guard, Zafar Buksh, tried to stop them but the robbers opened fired at him, injuring him. The robbers then held the bank’s staff and customers hostage. In addition to looting cash, the robbers also snatched four cell phones and the security guard’s weapon.
“One of their men was present inside the bank,” said a witness. “As soon as the cash van arrived at the bank, the man went outside and returned with his comrades.” Witnesses in their statements said that one armed men was wearing shalwar kameez while others were in pant and shirt. They were on two motorcycles that they had parked at a distance.
The bank’s staff informed the police that the robbers looted Rs8 million but the actual amount was around Rs10 million, said a police official. “The banks usually do not adopt the standard operating procedure,” said Special Investigation Unit chief Farooq Awan. “The security guard who was deployed outside the bank did not even know how to operate a weapon.” The police have obtained CCTV footage and are investigating the matter. Compared to previous years, the number of bank robberies in Karachi has been constantly decreasing since the Karachi operation began in September 2013, said Awan. According to official statistics, 20 banks were robbed in 2013, 24 in 2014 but this was the seventh robbery this year, he added.
SHO Farooq Sanjrani said that no case has been registered yet as the bank officials were busy calculating the actual amount stolen in the robbery.