In another incident of gun-toting gangs running riot, armed miscreants reportedly looted a sum of Rs 18,00,85,000 from the Punjab National Bank located at Viewland in Ukhrul district around 5.47 pm on Thursday.
According to police, the manager and staff of the bank had finished transaction and deposit activities for the day and were continuing their work inside the office by closing the shutter of the main gate before the incident took place.
The armed gang of around 10 persons suddenly entered from an entrance used only by the staff of the bank and overpowered the manager and the entire staff including a security personnel who was on duty near the Strong Room. The gang managed to loot a sum of Rs 18,00,85,000 from the bank.
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Immediately on receiving information of the incident, SP Ukhrul Ningsen Vashum rushed to the site for a spot inquiry and launched frisking and checking activities across Ukhrul town.
As per the CCTV footage from cameras installed inside the bank, the armed gang consisted of around 10 persons. They carried different kinds of weapons including AK rifles. They wore olive green, Khaki uniforms and track suits, as per the footage.
The manager in-charge of the bank M Kumuni said that as many as eight personnel of the 6th MR have been posted for duty at the bank. However, not all of the security personnel were present when the heist occurred.
Since they are yet to get the footage from the CCTV cameras installed outside the bank, it is yet to be ascertained in which directions the gang left after collecting the massive sum from the bank.
Ukhrul Police Station has registered a case in connection with the incident. All the staff and security personnel of the bank will be questioned on Friday.
This is the third incident of bank loot after ethnic clashes broke out on May 3 in Manipur.
The Manipur State Co-operative Bank branch in Kangpokpi was looted as early as May first week. Computers and other electronic items worth nearly Rs 1 crore were found looted when bank officials opened the branch after it was closed down due to the violence.
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Though the cash vault was found broken, bank officials had removed all the money from it and the ATM located on the bank premises in mid-May as per the instructions of the head office.
At least six computers, a printer and other electronic items are missing.
Days after on July 10, cash and ornaments valued at over Rs 2.25 crore were found missing from an Axis Bank branch in Churachandpur district HQs.
Police had said the looters drilled a hole from the rear side of the bank and gained entry.