MULTAN: The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) of Multan police have arrested a four-member gang involved in the robbery of 19 kilo gold worth Rs80 million from a bank in Shuajabad and seized 11kg of the looted gold.

The arrested people are bank’s recovery officer Sajjad Langah, gang leader Nasim Shah, Munawwar Meo and Asif Khapra.

The first information report (FIR) of the incident was lodged with Shujabad City Police under section 395 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7-Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of Punjab Cooperative Bank’s Malik Muhammad Akram on Dec 11, 2017.

As per the FIR, six unidentified gunmen looted the gold worth Rs8.314 million besides Rs47,000 from the bank.

CIA Superintendent of Police Dr Fahad made a team, led by CIA in charge Sadiq Dogar and Special Investigation Unit in charge Shaukat Commando, to arrest the thieves.

“It was a challenging case as the accused did not use any electronic device, including mobile phones, in the robbery while bank’s recovery officer misguided the police about the appearance of the gunmen,” said Dr Fahad.

He said the accused bank officer contacted local landlord Meo and incited him to break into the bank. Meo passed on the plan to Nasim Shah, the ringleader of the gang.

“The accused also took away digital video recorder of CCTV cameras which forced the investigation team to adopt manual and traditional methods of investigation,” said Commando.

He said that first a list of such gangs was prepared which were involved in robberies and when the police teams were sent to the riverine belt to collect information regarding such gangs, it emerged that Nasim Shah gang was in hiding.

He said the police focused on the gang and arrested one of its members. The gangster was not part of the bank robbery gang but he helped the police arrest Nasim Shah.

He said that with the arrest of Nasim Shah, entire scheme of the robbery was solved and the police arrested remaining three accused and recovered 11 kg gold from them.

“The challenge was not to arrest the accused but also to recover the looted gold,” said Dr Fahad.

He said that there were three keys of strong room which were kept by the bank manager, the recovery officer and the cashier.

He said that Langah first sent the cashier on a one-hour leave and got the possession of the other key and when the gunmen beat him and the bank manager, he as per the plot asked the manager to hand over the keys to them.

He said that three accused were still at large while the police were trying to arrest them and recover the remaining gold.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2018