Islamabad     -    Unidentified robbers looted two warehouses of Utility Stores Corporation in Sihala area of the capital and fled away after loading the stock worth millions of rupees on two trucks, sources said. In an apparently well-planned heist which also exposed performance of the police and overall crime situation in the capital, the robbers overpowered the security guards before breaking into the two adjoining warehouses on the night between February 17 and 18.

They took the guards hostage at gunpoint, snatched their mobiles and started loading the stock on the trucks. The USC officials estimated the stolen stock up to Rs10 million. According to the USC officials, the footage captured by the CCTV cameras showed a truck and one of the robbers guiding the driver of the vehicle on the road at around 2:10 am. Face of the robber is quite recognisable though number plate of the vehicle is not readable. The police have not yet commented on the incident.

The warehouses (commodity and branded goods) of USC Rawalpindi South and North regions are located near Burji Stop at Model Town. According to the FIR registered at Sihala police station on February 18, Regional Manager USC Rawalpindi-South, Bahram Khan Niazi was informed by Major (R) Ghulam Nabi, chief executive of al-Mateen Security Services, at 7:50 am and Regional Manager USC Rawalpindi-North was informed by Tahir Amin, Superintendent USC Rawalpindi North region at 8:23 am approximately on February 18 that incident of robbery had occurred at both the warehouses between the night of February 17-18. The security guards also made a call at the Rescue-15. According to the FIR, the robbers broke locks of the gates of the warehouses and entered into both the warehouses and took away the stock worth over Rs10 million.

The USC officials undertook audit of the stock after the robbery at the warehouses from February 19 to February 21 to determine actual loss. The physical stock taking/audit conducted by the concerned head office team found shortage of at least 219 items including spices, tea, washing powder, soap, cosmetics, lotions, shampoo of famous brands worth over Rs10 million. According to the audit, stock worth Rs5.1 million was taken away from the North region warehouse while stock worth Rs4.9 million was found missing from the South region warehouse. The police have registered a case on the complaint of Regional Manager USC Rawalpindi-South and Regional Manager USC Rawalpindi-North under section 392 of the PPC and further investigation is underway. According to the police officials, they were trying to identify the culprits. SHO Sihala could not be reached despite attempts for comments.

On the other hand, MD USC suspended USC Zonal Manager Faizan Hameed and Regional Manager Rawalpindi-South Bahram Khan Niazi while two officials Zahid Mahmood and Tanveer Ahmed wree relieved of the charge of warehouse in-charge. Furthermore, the local police have taken into custody a car which the thieves left on a Blue Area road along with a stolen cow after they hit another car and fled the scene in fear.

The footage of the rare incident showed that a cow was stuffed in the rear side of the vehicle by the occupants but they had to abandon it after they hit another car and got nervous. The cow was injured in the accident. Meanwhile, Banigala police recovered body of Raja Yasir Murtaza, Vice Chairman UC-8 (Tamair), from Lakhwal area. He was reportedly kidnapped from Loi Bher area on February 21.

He was reportedly a cousin of President PTI Islamabad Raja Khurram Nawaz. The deceased seemed to have been killed by strangulation, according to the police. The car of the deceased was also recovered on Friday near Sadiq Abad Chowk in Rawalpindi. As per reports, the car was parked there a day earlier by some unidentified persons. On Friday, on a complaint, the police reached the spot and took the car into custody. They found the car owned by Raja Yasir Murtaza, son of Raja Ghulam Murtaza, who was kidnapped from Loi Bher on February 21. Police are investigating the matter.