In what is being described as the biggest bank robbery in Pakistan’s history, more than Rs. 500 Million was looted from a Karachi branch of the Allied Bank. Details are still trickling in and are still sketchy. But it is clear that at least part of this was an inside job. Just how ‘inside’ it was, remains to be determined.
The story has all the elements of thrill, drama, intrigue, and uncertainty that the Pakistan news media thrives on. And thriving it is with this story.
Here are some of the details from an early report in Dawn:
Pakistani and foreign currency worth more than Rs500 million was looted from a private bank branch near I.I. Chundrigar Road on Sunday. Reports suggest that it is the biggest bank robbery in the history of Pakistan. Private security guards hired the bank, are suspected of being involved in the robbery. However, police have recovered some of the looted foreign currency from the house of a police officer who is also under suspicion of involvement in the robbery.
According to police sources, the license of the private security company has already been canceled whose security guards are suspected of being involved in the bank robbery. Police have arrested two accused and further investigation is in progress. It is said that around 80,000 private security guards are hired by various institutions including banks in Pakistan without their proper registration with police.
Here is a video report from Dunya TV:
The report in The News is more juicy and with some more detail:
The biggest robbery of the countryâ€™s history of Rs520 million has been carried out in the metropolitan city of Karachi by breaking into the lockers of a private bank. The looted money comprises local and foreign currencies. A bag containing 40,000 British pounds has been recovered from a police officialâ€™s house. The family members of the police official had left the bag home which contained foreign currency.
According to police, the bank guards are involved in the bank robbery while raids are being carried out to arrest the other robbers. Police has also taken into custody two bank guards and recovered Rs5 million. The police have claimed to have learned about the whereabouts of the guard mainly involved in the robbery. He has been identified as Shahid Mehmood son of Abdul Majeed, holding NIC issued in Faisalabad. Police have announced a reward of Rs2 million for information leading to the capture of the guard.
Crime, of course, has long been rampant. But recently, bank robberies in Karachi (including ATM robberies) has been on the increase. Here, for example, is footage of another bank robbery in Karachi in April this year: