Pakistan News

Three more held in Rs70m robbery case

Three more held in Rs70m robbery case

RAWALPINDI: Three employees of a Karachi-based money changer were arrested and brought to Rawalpindi in connection with a robbery case in which their employer was robbed of Rs70 million outside the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on April 22.

So far, the police have rounded up eight of the 11 members of the gang allegedly involved in the robbery. The police are now looking for a former high-ranking air force and two ex-army officers in connection with the case

It may be noted that Mohammad Saleem, a Karachi-based money changer, was kidnapped and robbed of the huge amount soon after he came out of the airport on April 22.

The three suspects were picked by a Rawalpindi police team from Karachi and brought here on Wednesday, a senior police officer, who requested not to be named, confirmed to Dawn.

They were identified as Mohammad Akbar, Irfan Ali and Mohammad Aslam. The police officer said the three were accused of keeping in touch with their accomplices waiting outside the airport. One of the arrested employees had also travelled with the robbery victim from Karachi to Islamabad while the two had seen him off at the Karachi airport.

A senior security official close to the investigation added that three vehicles, one with a fake registration plate, were used in the kidnapping and looting of the money changer.

He said the money changer was blindfolded and driven to the residence of the former high-ranking air force officer in Fizayia Colony located at the Islamabad Expressway. Later, he was shifted to another vehicle and dumped along a roadside near Tramli Chowk.

The senior police officer said since the 11-member gang, of which the two ex-army officers and a serving police official of Rawalpindi were active members, was smashed the former high-ranking air force officer had been missing from his residence.

When Regional Police Officer (RPO) Mohammad Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja was contacted, he confirmed the arrest of the three suspects from Karachi.

“Yes, police have made some important arrests and are carrying out raids to pick the other members of the gang.”

The RPO had already confirmed the arrest of the police official along with four other people and the recovery of nearly half of the looted amount from them.

He said the police were hunting for the two ex-army officers as the remaining amount was to be recovered from them.

Five of the arrested members of the gang have been sent to the Central Jail Adiala for an identification parade.

The money changers in Rawalpindi-Islamabad have warned that they would close their businesses and return their licences to the State Bank of Pakistan if the looted amount was not recovered.

However, Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, the city police officer Rawalpindi, was optimistic about the arrest of the accused.

“Soon the remaining members of the gang will be arrested and the looted money will be recovered,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015

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