KARACHI- More than 15 million rupees have been looted from 10 banks across Karachi in the first three months of 2014. According to the data available from police sources, four bank robberies were reported in January, three in February and three in the first nine days of March.

Spokesman for the Karachi police, Atique Ahmed Shaikh, blamed the lack of police forces and untrained private guards for the increase in bank robberies.  

He said that there are more than 20 to 30 banks within the limits of a police station and having a contingent of almost 100 cops in a station it is not possible to provide security to all of them. However, they do carry out snap-checking near banks and deploy mobiles near them.

Shaikh said that the private security guards hired by banks were not professional and lack training. Sometimes, two or three armed men have overpowered by 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. He said that the police would devise a strategy with the cooperation of bank administrations in order to curb these incidents.

In Karachi , thirty banks were robbed in 2013 alone. This year, 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 were looted from a bank at Napier Road. On January 29, 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 robbery 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. On February 25th, Rs 300,000 were robbed from a bank in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Three banks were looted in the first nine days of March. The first incident was reported within the limits of Garden police station where Rs 1.5 million was looted in a day light bank heist.

On March 7, two banks were robbed in 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.

In Shahrah-e-Faisal four armed persons barged into a private bank and fled away with the plundered money amounting to Rs 3 million.