Editorial : Another bank heist - Saturday 16th April 2011

IN what is said to be Karachi’s biggest bank robbery so far this year, several suspects — including a private security guard employed at a bank in the city’s Jodia Bazaar area — made off with Rs9m on Thursday. Surprisingly, the suspects took a leisurely two hours to complete their operation. This is the fifth major bank robbery in Karachi this year while in 2010 the city witnessed around 22 such incidents. Reports in the media suggest that despite the fact the security company concerned had been alerted, it failed to respond. The robbery is the latest incident in a disturbing trend where private guards employed at banks end up looting them. Also, the relaxed method in which the crime was committed shows that the element of fear is fast disappearing as criminals carry out their activities with the greatest of ease. Poor law enforcement is principally to blame for the criminals’ increasing brazenness.
The police claim that banks hardly spend on security manpower and equipment as they know the cash in their vaults is insured. Indeed, a poorly paid guard with no workplace benefits cannot be expected to put his life on the line to ward off criminals; in the worst-case scenario guards themselves turn to crime, as we have seen in this and several other incidents. Banks, security companies and the police all need to seriously rethink their attitudes towards protecting financial institutions. Guards need to be well paid while equipment such as cameras and security systems needs to be in perfect working order. The hiring procedure of security guards also needs to be made more stringent, while the police’s response when such crimes occur must be much more efficient. Considering the fact that apart from criminal gangs, militant groups also use the cash generated from bank heists to finance their activities, this troubling trend cannot be taken lightly.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/16/another-bank-heist.html

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