KARACHI: Police on Monday claimed to have arrested five suspects for their alleged involvement in house robberies and looting citizens who drew cash from banks.

“The five suspects [belong] to two gangs who were active in robberies in [police’s] South zone,” DIG South Sharjeel Kharal told a press conference at his office.

He said that three of the suspects, identified as Ali Shan, Farhan Khan and Khalid Mehmood, were arrested in Defence area and a stolen motorbike and arms were seized from them.

He said that three of their accomplices were at large.

He said that they also “confessed” to have committed 25-20 muggings in which they targeted those who came out of banks after drawing cash.

The held suspects had also snatched Rs20 million from a man, Kamran, near the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Sept 19 after he drew cash from a bank located on I.I. Chundrigar Road.

The DIG said that the six suspects had distributed Rs3.3m each. However, the police said they recovered only Rs3m from the three held suspects.

They told the police that their accomplice, Mehtab alias Maya, tended to enter a bank branch and inform via mobile phone his other accomplices standing outside the branch about any person who drew heavy amount of cash.

They were also arrested several times in the past but got released on bail.

SSP Nazeer said that the police also arrested two members of another gang of criminals in Defence.

He said that the held suspects were identified as Shahid Shah and Wasim Shah. They had snatched 45 mobile phones and Rs100,000 from a dealer in Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

The police claimed to have seized 25 mobile phones and weapons from their custody.

They also confessed to have looted Rs2.8m from a cigarette dealer in Bilal Colony in 2018 and killed a private security guard upon resistance.

The SSP said that the weapon used in the murder of the guard was seized from their custody.

Held suspect Shahid told the police that after committing a big robbery in Karachi, he escaped to either South Africa or Rawalpindi.

DIG Kharal conceded that police’s focus on crimes’ detection was to some extent decreased due to security duties in Muharram and Rabiul Awwal.

Man held for ‘torching shop’

Police claimed to have arrested a man who set a shop in Kharadar on fire over non-payment of extortion, SP City Sumair Noor said.

He said a rice shop was set on fire in Kharadar on Oct 27. The police after getting statement of the owner lodged a case and arrested M. Rasheed. He had allegedly demanded Rs500,000 bhatta.

The held suspect was a resident of Lyari and had “links with Lyari gangsters”.

He informed the police about the names of his other accomplices and efforts were under way to arrest them, the officer said.

Road safety walk

A walk was held at Seaview on Monday to mark world day of remembrance for road traffic victims.

The walk, attended by the commissioner of Karachi, DIGs of Traffic and South police, other officials and citizens, was aimed at highlighting the importance of following traffic rules pertaining to wearing helmets and seat belts to prevent fatal accidents on roads.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2019