Islamabad, Pindi police at loggerheads over jurisdiction after Rs33m robbery

ISLAMABAD: Armed gunmen garbed in army uniform have allegedly looted currency worth Rs33 million from a money exchange on the Motorway on Monday.

According to the owner, 10 gunmen stole the sum from his money-carrying van near the old Islamabad toll plaza.

However, police in Rawalpindi and Islamabad are at loggerheads over the jurisdiction that the crime took place in.

Sheikh Tasawwar Hussain, owner and director of the Sky Exchange, told The Express Tribune that his company’s staff was carrying the foreign currency en route from Haripur to Rawalpindi in the van.

Consequently, at around 6:45pm they were overtaken and intercepted by three Vigo mini trucks near old toll plaza towards Islamabad on Motorway.

The exchange staff – comprising two guards, a cashier and a driver – mistook the gunmen for army personnel and stopped, allowing their request to search the vehicle.

“They were in army uniforms, wore army boots and carried the same guns that military police carries,” Hussain said.

The gunmen allegedly held the exchange staff hostage and took the van towards Hassanabdal.

They stole all the cash at gunpoint and then left all the four staffers at various locations in Hassanabdal, while the money exchange van was found abandoned near Rashakai interchange in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

Following the incident, Islamabad police officials reached the spot and began an investigation.

After hours of investigation on the scene the Islamabad police in the wee hours of Tuesday left the case, saying the incident took place in the Rawalpindi police jurisdiction and not theirs.

Since then, both police departments are denying that the crime occurred within their area.

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SP Saddar Aamir Khan Niazi of the Islamabad Police said they ascertained that the area fell within the Rawalpindi police jurisdiction.

He said the alleged robbery took place 4km before the old Islamabad toll plaza.

Rawalpindi police officials denied this and argued that there is an Islamabad police check post near the crime scene.

“Islamabad police reached the scene soon after the incident on Monday evening and they were there until 3am on Tuesday when informed us that it was actually the Rawalpindi police area,” said a Pindi police officer

He added: “Why didn’t they say this at the start? Also we had not received any call on our control rooms,” he added.

The Rawalpindi police have not only refused to take the case but also expressed their doubt over the occurrence of the incident, saying the National Highways and Motorway Police remained unaware of the robbery.

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