The daring act in broad daylight has left locals and employees of the bank, which has no CCTV cameras, shocked
A group of robbers, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and helmets, have made away with around Tk9 lakh after holding the staff of a Sonali Bank Limited branch in Chuadanga at gunpoint.
The incident took place in broad daylight on Sunday at the Uthli Bazar branch in the district’s Jibonnagar upazila.
The branch’s security guard Jakir Hossain told Dhaka Tribune that three men, wearing white PPEs and helmets, came on a motorcycle and stormed the bank around 1:15pm.
“They put a gun to my head and a knife on my neck, and told me that they would kill me if I made a sound,” he said, while describing the scene that appeared to have come out of a heist movie.
“They also threatened to open fire if anyone else inside the bank made a sound, before they bagged the money and fled,” Jakir said.
The district’s Superintendent of Police Jahidul Islam told the media that all of their units were working to catch the robbers. “Checkposts have been set up on every intersection.”
“The bank does not have any CCTV cameras installed. It would have helped us if there were cameras,” he said.
Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police (Damurhuda Circle) Abu Rasel also said that they were conducting drives to catch the robbers and recover the money.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, the bank branch’s Manager Abu Bakkar Siddiqui said: “The robbers had shut the main door of the bank and pulled out their guns. They snatched the mobile phones of everyone inside and confined them in a room, while threatening to shoot if anyone made a sound.”
Later, they made away with around Tk9 lakh from the bank's cash counters, drawers and the valt, said the branch employees.
“As the robbers left the bank, locals -- after hearing a customer shouting for help -- tried to chase them down. The robbers again threatened to open fire at the time. As the locals started hurling brickbats at them, they fled on a motorcycle,” Abu Bakkar said.
One of the witnesses, a trader at Uthli Bazar, said he had joined others, while wielding a metal rod, to stop the robbers.
“One of them pointed his gun at me and said, ‘Don’t be a hero. I’ll kill you.’ I was afraid for my life and decided to stay back,” said the man -- one of the locals left shocked and panicked by the robbers’ daring act in broad daylight.
Another witness, Rasel Hossain Munna said: “One of the robbers was hit on the head when we started hurling bricks as they were fleeing.
“That robber then pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot us. We dispersed out of fear.”
The robbers fled towards Andulbaria taking the Dumuria road, said another witness.
However, no one was able to tell the number on the robbers’ motorcycle registration plate.
High officials from the local administration and law enforcement agencies later visited the bank.
Chuadanga Deputy Commissioner Nazrul Islam Sarkar told reporters: “Such an incident in today’s technological age is a matter of great concern. It’s sad that the bank has no CCTV cameras.
“Police are working to catch the robbers. Hopefully, they will be arrested soon.”