KARACHI: Armed robbers stormed into a private bank branch, held the guards and staff at gunpoint and took away Rs2 million in North Nazimabad on Thursday, police said.

SSP-Central Maroof Usman said that six armed robbers riding on three motorbikes arrived at the JS Bank branch in Block K, North Nazimabad little after 11pm. One of them entered the branch but security guard put up resistance.

The robber hit him in the head with his pistol and overpowered him. In the meantime, his other accomplices entered the bank, held the staff at gunpoint and snatched the pistol from another guard.

They collected Rs2m from the cash counter, but did not touch the bank vault containing a huge amount of cash.

The SSP said the robbers completed their job swiftly and while fleeing, they fired into the air apparently to create fear and panic.

Police say six robbers took three minutes to complete the job

He said investigators collected the spent bullet casing from the crime scene.

Another senior police officer, requesting anonymity, claimed that the private bank did not follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) prepared by the State Bank of Pakistan.

He pointed out that as per the SOP, the management was supposed to construct a bunker inside its premises with a wall of steel and having small glass so that the guard could see from it.

He said that the management constructed the bunker with tin and the main guard was not deployed there.

An FIR was lodged at the Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan police station on the complaint of Muhammad Mohsin, the the operations manager of the bank.

The complainant said that he was at his office near the cash counter when all of a sudden three-four men, wearing pants and shirts scuffled with guard Abdul Haq and entered the bank. The bank staff asked the customers to lie down on floor.

He stated that a robber entered the cash counter and beaten up counter room manager Ahmed Ali when he took some time to open the gate. Later, he took away Rs2m from the counter. His other accomplices snatched .30-bore pistol from guard Abdul Rasheed.

They entered the bank at around 11:09 a.m. and committed the robbery within three minutes.

The police said the condition of both the injured was stable.

Earlier on March 21, unidentified robbers stormed into microfinance bank branch in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and looted over Rs250,000 from the bank and the customers present inside. However, police did not treat the incident as a case of bank heist.

SSP Arif Aziz of the Special Investigation Unit told Dawn the robbery at JS Bank branch was the year’s first bank heist.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022

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