KARACHI: In a startling robbery involving relatively huge amounts of money, said to be disproportionate to the legitimate income of a government official, armed men looted Rs17 million cash, 55 tola gold jewellery and other valuables from the house of a food department officer, police said on Wednesday.

Assistant food controller Sikander Ali Shah lodged a complaint with the police stating that he reached his home in the Sindhi Jamaat Cooperative Housing Society in Bin Qasim at 11.45pm on Tuesday night. As he was parking his car outside his home, two men suddenly pulled up and one of them put a pistol on his head and asked him to move inside the house or he would shoot him.

The complainant said he became terrified and brought the two robbers home. The gunmen took him, his wife and children hostage in a room and looted Rs17m cash, 55 tola gold and prize bonds worth Rs2 million from a cupboard, he told the police.

He added that he called Madadgar-15 immediately after the robbers left and the Shah Latif Town SHO arrived at the spot.

Police doubt veracity of complainant’s claims

The police registered an FIR against two unidentified robbers. Shah Latif Town SHO Chaudhry Aslam said that they had launched the investigation into the incident after registering the case.

However some ‘doubts’ have emerged after the initial probe about the veracity of his claims, the officer added.

Elaborating further, the SHO said that the complainant in his initial statement told the police that the robbers also took away his three cell phones whose bell was ringing, but no one responding.

The SHO said he called on his numbers and the phones rang and rang but nobody picked up.

The police later brought a ‘locator’, which traced the presence of the three cell phones inside the home of the complainant.

“I asked the food official that his cell phones were inside the home and bring them here otherwise we would trace them,” said the SHO, adding that upon his questioning the complainant started saying that he was not aware of it.

Secondly, the SHO said that when he reached the home after receiving the information, the food department official told him that around Rs2.5 to Rs3 million cash and prize bonds were looted but later on, he changed his statement by claiming that Rs17 million was taken away.

The food official also told him that the robbers when they were fleeing also returned 100,000 rupees each to him, his wife and two children and also returned 10 tolas of gold ornaments.

Moreover, the SHO said that the housing society was a gated community, where security guards were present at the main gate. He wondered as to how the robbers entered and fled the housing society. He said they were further probing the matter.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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