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Wednesday December 08, 2021

Two-pronged strategy devised to tackle bank-related crimes

August 15, 2017

To tackle rampant bank-related crimes across the city, law enforcers have devised a two-pronged strategy whereby they are conducting parallel investigations into bank heists and muggings of customers. With three banks robbed this month alone, a total of eight banks have been looted so far this year, and only one heist was foiled back in April.

Moreover, people withdrawing money from the banks also seem to be on the radar screens of street criminals, as five bank-related muggings have been committed since July 18 alone. Law enforcers have identified the different groups involved in the two types of crimes, considering which they devised their strategy and have been conducting their investigations in line with it.  

Rampant muggings

On July 18 a cashier of a private TV channel was deprived of Rs950,000 on Tariq Road on his way back from his office after withdrawing the cash from the bank.

On the last day of that month a gang of robbers in a hi-roof van looted Rs1.3 million from a filling station’s employee on his way to the bank. On August 8 a group of robbers snatched Rs100,000 from a man when he returned to his showroom after withdrawing the money from the bank.

The very next day two similar muggings were reported. A man was deprived of Rs200,000 near Godam Chowrangi in Korangi on his way back home from the bank, while a bag full of cash was snatched from an intending pilgrim on Dalmia Road on his way back from the bank.  

Breakthrough

Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Karachi chief DIGP Dr Jamil Ahmed told The News that they had solved four bank robberies, arrested the gangs responsible and recovered the looted cash.

Ahmed said his agency had made a breakthrough in the investigations of two of the remaining five heists, adding that they had also traced the two groups responsible for the other three robberies. “We suspect that one of the groups in the three heists being investigated is an inter-provincial gang, while the other is being run by locals.”

He said the CIA was also taking action against the groups involved in snatching cash from bank customers. “We have arrested two members of such a gang and are trying to apprehend their identified accomplices.”

The DIGP said street crime had emerged as a top security issue in the metropolis, adding that the CIA had launched a clampdown on street criminals to address the woes of the citizens. He said they had arrested a local gang of street criminals, adding that the CIA would hold a news conference shortly to brief the media about their achievements.

Terror funding

Raja Umer Khattab, chief of the Sindh Counter Terrorism Department’s (CTD) Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group, told The News that they had identified three gangs behind bank heists.

Khattab said the CTD suspected that at least one of the groups was robbing banks to raise funds for their terrorist organisation. “If terrorists are not directly involved in these heists, then it is possible that a gang has been tasked with raising funds for a banned outfit.”

Elaborating on the theory, he said counterterrorism officials had recently arrested a group after a shootout in Shah Latif Town. The detainees revealed that they were tasked with committing bank robberies to generate funds for Jundallah, he added. “They amassed Rs120 million for the outfit.”  

Same old faces

Special Investigation Unit SSP Tariq Dharejo told The News that four to six gangs comprising old faces were involved in mugging people after they left the bank with their cash.

Dharejo said the culprits earlier booked for robberies had completed their prison sentences and were now involved in the recent muggings of bank customers, adding that his unit had obtained the CCTV camera footage showing six suspects in different mugging incidents across the city.