Karachi, August 12 (International The News) – In another major incident of robbery, the driver of a cash van has fled with Rs205 million in Karachi. A case has been registered against the driver and his accomplices at the Mithadar police station.
Police have registered FIR No. 280/21 under Section 408/34 on the complaint of Shaikh Shoaib, regional manager operations of the Security Organising System (SOS) Pakistan, against company driver Hussain Shah and his unidentified accomplices.
The complainant said he had been an employee of SOS for the past 11 years, adding that on August 6, Rs200 million was given by Al Falah Bank’s II Chundrigar Road branch, and that the amount had arrived at the SOS branch office on Tariq Road. The FIR reads that cash van driver Shah, CC Muhammad Saleem and ACC Nadeem had left the branch with Rs200 million of Al Falah Bank to deposit it to the State Bank of Pakistan on August 9.
One more cash van was dispatched to Al Falah Bank’s head office on II Chundrigar Road at around 9am that day. They deposited 13 sealed cash bags, and during this Saleem also took four cash boxes inside the bank, but the bank returned the bags, so he again put them into the vehicle.
Saleem again went inside the bank to take the cash, the bank gave him Rs5 million to be deposited in the bank’s West Wharf branch, so after putting Rs5 million into the vehicle, he again went inside the bank to take a receipt, and when he returned from the bank, he found that both the cash vans had disappeared. Besides all the cash, the driver and his accomplices also made off with two pistols, a repeater, and a camera and DVR system installed in the vehicle.
When Saleem phoned Shah, the driver said he would be there shortly, but he did not return. Later, Saleem informed the bank about the disappearance of the driver and the cash van. The driver’s mobile phone was switched off when the bank staff tried calling him. The vehicle was later found parked in Miskeen Gali in the old city area with the help of the vehicle tracker. The driver, cash, weapons, camera and DVR — all were missing from the van.
Police have already questioned the driver’s father, who said he and his family do not have any ties with the man because the family had kicked him out of the house some six months ago. Police said the prime suspect hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They also said his mobile phone is switched off, but they have obtained his call detail record. Police have also detained the company’s security guards for questioning, while the company’s supervisors are also being questioned.
Investigators said that only two staff members were present with the driver, adding that they believe the driver had executed the robbery on the basis of prior planning. They said the prime suspect had been a security guard at the company for the past one year. Police said the company’s procedure of moving cash was wrong and the strength was also too short. They said the company’s recruitment process for hiring security guards was also wrong, since the driver himself had brought in a verification form and submitted it to the company.
“It is a serious lack on the part of the security company. We are looking at all the aspects. We have a definite lead, and InshaAllah, we will work out and resolve the case,” South Zone police chief DIG Javed Akbar Riaz told The News.
“The incident occurred at around 9:30am on Monday, but the bank staff informed the police hours after the incident, which is also a serious lack, and we are also inquiring about ascertaining the reason behind the delay in informing the police.”
There is also a need to review the standard operating procedures (SOPs) because the van was moving in the city with a hefty amount without proper SOPs or security, said the officer. “Why did they not take notice when the van went off-route when such vans are being constantly monitored through their tracker.”
He said the driver lived in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, adding that the police have detained some of his family members and the two security guards who accompanied him at the time of the incident.
On August 4, two employees of a private money exchange company were killed and another was wounded after armed assailants opened fire on their vehicle in Karachi’s Buffer Zone locality.
The incident took place near the District Central deputy commissioner’s office within the limits of the Taimuria police station when the employees were trying to reach their destination after picking up cash from a bank.
In the first week of May, police had claimed to have solved the case in which three kilograms of gold was robbed from the Gul Centre near the Teen Talwar monument, after the complainant turned out to be the mastermind of the robbery.
The owner of the jewellery shop named Asif had approached the police and filed a complaint about the robbery. The South Zone investigation police worked on the case and recovered the looted gold from a trade centre on II Chundrigar Road. It was revealed later that Asif and his accomplice Waseem had orchestrated the robbery.
In June, a day after a woman reported 250 tola of gold missing from her locker in a bank in Clifton, seven other lockers — said to be containing gold, foreign currency and jewellery worth tens of millions of rupees — were discovered to have been looted as well.
According to SP Investigation (South) Muhammad Imran Mirza, while investigating the complaint filed by Dr Anita Qazi, the police visited the bank at Zamzama, and while checking the bank’s secure room, other lockers were inspected and seven more were found to have been broken into in a similar manner.
Bank sources said that tens of millions of rupees worth of foreign currency, gold and jewellery had been stolen from these lockers. Police said that a list of the locker numbers had been prepared, adding that their owners would be called in to determine their losses, following which more cases would be registered.