Suspect shot dead in encounter as police foil bank robbery in Karachi's Korangi area

Published July 16, 2021
One suspect was killed while another injured in the exchange of fire with police. — AFP/File
One suspect was killed while another injured in the exchange of fire with police. — AFP/File

KARACHI: A suspected robber was shot dead in an encounter in Korangi on Thursday as the police foiled a bank robbery. His three accomplices, including one injured, escaped through the back gate of the bank branch which was supposed to distribute Rs15 million to government employees as advance salary on account of Eidul Azha.

Korangi SSP Shahjehan Khan said that four gunmen entered the National Bank of Pakistan, K-Area of Korangi branch at around 9.30am. They snatched the gun from a security guard posted outside the bank. They overpowered another security guard posted inside the bank as they hit him with the butt of a weapon and he fell to the ground. They held the bank staff and customers hostage at gunpoint.

In the meantime, a nearby shopkeeper, said to be a friend of the district police intelligence officer, phoned him to inform him about the presence of the robbers in the bank.

The police officer immediately conveyed this message to the Awami Colony SHO. A nearby patrolling police party reached the spot within minutes. Three policemen entered the bank while the others cordoned it off.

Several held in FIA crackdown against hawala/hundi operators in Sukkur & Larkana

The robbers threatened to kill the staff and customers, who were hostages, if they were not given space to flee, said the Korangi SSP.

The suspects opened fire on the policemen in their attempt to escape. The police returned fire. During the shootout, one suspect was killed while another injured. However, their two other accomplices fled with the injured suspect through the back gate of the bank, said the SSP.

The police seized three pistols and two motorbikes from the crime scene.

SSP Shahjehan said that there was an estimated Rs15m in the bank which was saved from looting. The cash was brought to the bank for the payment of salaries to government employees as the provincial government had announced to give advance salary to employees on account of Eidul Azha.

The officer said that both private security guards of the bank were armed but they could not react as they might have not been properly trained. He added that there was no bunker inside the bank as per the standard operating procedures prescribed by the State Bank of Pakistan for banks to prevent robberies.

The killed suspect was identified as Shahid Iqbal whose body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to fulfil legal formalities. He reportedly originally hailed from Multan. The police were trying to ascertain his past criminal record.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Sindh police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar praised the police for foiling the bank robbery and announced Rs500,000 cash and appreciation certificates for the policemen who took part in the encounter.

Crackdown against hawala/hundi operators

The Federal Investigation Agency on Thursday claimed to have launched a crackdown against hawala/hundi in Sukkur and Larkana and detained several suspects.

“The FIA conducted raids in Larkana and Naseerabad and detained several suspects, recovered cash memo registers, mobile phones, chequebooks and other evidence from their custody,” said FIA director of Sindh Zone-II Younis Chandio.

The officer added that the raids were part of a wider crackdown against hundi/hawala and money laundering.

Meanwhile, an ASI of the FIA was arrested in Sukkur for using “unfair means in the recent exams conducted by OTS”.

The person in charge of the centre was also booked.

This action was taken after a “thorough inquiry” by the additional director of the FIA, Hyderabad, Wasi Haider.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2021

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