KARACHI: More than Rs 15 million were looted from 10 banks across the city during three months of 2014.
According to a data available from police sources, four bank robberies were reported in January, three in February and three in first nine days of March.
It is pertinent to mention here that a total of 30 banks were looted in 2013.
On January 7, armed men looted Rs 1.8 million from a bank in Awami Colony, Korangi and killed two guards on resistance. On January 20, criminals took away Rs 270,000 from a bank in Nazimabad. On January 27, Rs 275,000 was looted from a bank at Napier Road. On January 29, the armed dacoits took the bank staff hostage in Federal B Area Block 3 and ran away after taking more than Rs 2.8 million.
Similarly, a bank heist was reported on 20th February in North Karachi Sector C2-11. The armed men looted Rs 350,000 from that bank. On February 24, a group of armed men entered a bank in Orangi Town and looted Rs 4.5 million. Moreover, just on the other day, on February 25, the dacoits looted Rs 300,000 from a bank in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
March proved to be a more fruitful month for the looters as three banks were looted within a span of nine days in the month. The first incident was reported within the limits of Garden police station where Rs 1.5 million were looted in a day light bank heist.
On March 7, criminals went on a looting spree as two bank robberies were committed in the city within a span of 30 minutes. Five armed persons stormed into a private bank located at Paposhnagar, took the staff hostage and escaped with an amount of Rs3.5 million. While in another incident of daredevil robbery on Shahrah-e-Faisal four armed persons barged into a private bank and fled away with the plundered money amounting to Rs 3 million.
When contacted, spokesman for Karachi police, Atique Ahmed Shaikh, blamed lack of police force and untrained private guards behind the reasons of increased bank dacoities in the city during 2014.
He said that there are more than 20 or 30 banks within the limits of a police station and having a contingent of almost 100 cops in a station, it was not possible to provide security to all of them.
However, we carry out snap-checking near banks, we deploy mobiles near them but we cannot provide security to all banks at a time, he said. Shaikh said that the private security guards hired by banks were not professional and their lack of training had caused such incidents where two or three armed men overpowered six guards. He said that the police department had given safety guidelines to banks regarding deployment of security guards but they do not implement them, causing such incidents to happen.
He said that the police would devise a strategy with the cooperation of bank administrations in order to curb these incidents.
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