Police investigators examine the vehicle that came under attack on Wednesday.—Online
Police investigators examine the vehicle that came under attack on Wednesday.—Online

KARACHI: Two guards of a money changer were shot dead in Buffer Zone on Wednesday and a worker was wounded by suspected robbers over resistance. They took away around Rs1 million from the victims and escaped. The driver of the van remained safe.

The police claimed that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not followed for transferring the huge cash amount from a bank to the money changer’s office.

The Taimuria police said that the incident took place in a perceived high-security zone as an office of the deputy commissioner (Central) and Pakistan Rangers’ local headquarters were situated in the same vicinity.

They added that Maqsood, 40-45, and Shahroz Ali, 30-35, were shot dead while Imtiaz Siraj, 50-55, was injured during the robbery in Sector 51-A Buffer Zone, near the DC office and PHQ Rangers’ Wing.

‘SOPs for transferring cash were not followed’

Taimuria SHO Fardad Shaikh said six suspects riding three 125cc motorbikes intercepted the van of Glaxy Exchange Company at Sabir Pakwan near Rangers’ local headquarters at around 3.35pm. They were reportedly carrying the cash from a private bank.

The suspects tried to snatch the cash from the guards. As the guards put up resistance, the robbers opened indiscriminate fire on them. As a result, two guards and a worker of the money changer were shot at and wounded critically. They were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where doctors pronounced the two guards dead.

The SHO said that the driver of the van, identified as Ali Nawaz, remained unhurt in the incident.

‘SOPs were not followed’

Meanwhile, Central SSP Ghulam Murtaza Tabassum told the media that the SOPs for transferring the huge cash amount were not followed. The police were not informed about the transfer of the cash in a hi-roof van.

He said that a client of a private bank had remitted $6,000 through the exchange company. The money changer’s staff had come to the bank for the exchange of dollars. The officer estimated the looted cash at Rs985,000.

The armed robbers initially resorted to firing and later snatched the cash. The robbers wore shalwar kameez.

The police obtained CCTV footage of the incident, but it was not clear. “We are also checking CCTV footage of the bank,” said the officer.

“Some progress in the case has been made but it may not be advisable at this stage to share this information with the media,” said Mr Tabassum.

The police claimed to have got information about a group involved in such robberies.

The SSP said the investigators had found nine spent bullet casings fired from 9mm pistols. He said he hoped that the “case would be resolved soon”.

The SSP hinted at the possibility that someone might have leaked information about the transfer of money to the robbers. It would be determined from where the information was leaked, said the SSP.

The robbers did not take away the two pistols of the shot guards.

Driver’s statement

The driver, Ali Nawaz, who remained safe in the incident reportedly told the police that they were carrying the cash from the Hyderi Market branch of the bank to Gulistan-i-Jauhar. They met someone in Buffer Zone and proceeded further.

As they travelled some distance, two gunmen riding a motorcycle came in front of their vehicle at a cut in Buffer Zone. Two other suspects on another motorbike came from behind the vehicle and resorted to indiscriminate firing, the driver said. They seized the cash and escaped firing into the air.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2021

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