‘Ex-army major, colonel involved in robbery of millions’

Published April 30, 2015
“The two officers of the intelligence agency are directly involved in the robbery as both were present at the BBIA during the robbery.”— Illustration by K.B. Abro
“The two officers of the intelligence agency are directly involved in the robbery as both were present at the BBIA during the robbery.”— Illustration by K.B. Abro

RAWALPINDI: Local police sent a request to the interior ministry for the names of two former army officers involved in the biggest heist at the airport to be put on the Exit Control List (ECL).

A request was also sent to the Interpol for one of their accomplices in Dubai to be arrested.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Regional Police Officer Muhammad Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja said five people involved in the robbery were arrested and Rs30.86 million was recovered and the vehicle used in the heist was also found by the police.

Read: Passenger kidnapped at airport, robbed of millions

“Two retired army officers, a former colonel and a major were directly involved in the robbery as they were at the airport. They will soon be arrested and the remaining amount will be recovered from them,” he said.

The RPO said that a serving police sub-inspector had also been arrested and he appreciated the police for managing to find the robbers in seven days and also recover millions of rupees from them.

On April 22, two of the robbers dressed in police uniforms and a third posing to be an official of an intelligence agency beat up and kidnapped a money changer arriving at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport from Karachi with over Rs70 million. They robbed him of the money and left him on a roadside.

Also read: SI arrested for biggest heist at airport

The RPO said three of those arrested are natives of Gujranwala, while one member of the gang is settled in Dubai. He said that the suspect in Dubai will be brought back through Interpol. He said the two ex-army officials who were associated with an intelligence agency will be prevented from leaving the country.

“The two officers of the intelligence agency are directly involved in the robbery as both were present at the BBIA during the robbery,” the RPO said.

The CCTV footage from the scene of the robbery led to the identification of a sub-inspector of Rawalpindi police who was arrested. Later, during interrogation, the sub-inspector revealed the identities of his accomplices which led to their arrest, the RPO said.

He said that the police post at the airport premises will be put under strict surveillance and the police staff posted there will be transferred. He said that since the Airport Security Force (ASF) is responsible for the security at the airport, the police were now taking up the issue with the ASF Chief Security Officer.

The RPO said the money changers should have informed the local police before exchanging such a large amount of money at the airport so that security could have been provided to them.

He said three vehicles were used in the heist. However, no official vehicles were used.

According to police sources, a 10-member gang was involved in the robbery, five of whom have been arrested. The source said the cash recovered by the police was hidden by the sub-inspector in a black trunk given by the department to officials. The trunk had been hidden at his sister’s house in F-11.

The sub-inspector was part of the squad assigned to the Rawalpindi Commissioner. He was reinstated after being dismissed from service two months ago and the police are investigating his reinstatement.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2015

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