May 25, 2024, 7:38 pm

Staff Correspondent

2024-04-09 07:21:07 BdST

55 more held, jeep seized over Bandarban bank heist

Law enforcers arrested 55 persons, including 18 women, and seized a jeep in connection with the recent bank heist in Bandarban district on Sunday night and Monday.

Among the arrestess, four were identified as Bhannu Nuam Bom, 25, resident of Rowangchari upazila, and Geminiu Bom, 24, Ame Loncheo Bom, 25, and Kafil Uddin, 28, residents of Thanchi upazila.

Three of them were arrested from Reicha check-post of Bandarban-Chattogram highway on Sunday night while Kafil was arrested from T&T Para in Bandarban on Monday, said the Bandarban district police in a press release on Monday.

Arrested Geminiu and Ame are siblings while Kafil was driver of the seized jeep which was used during the bank heist on 2 April, said sources.

Officer in-Charge (OC) Jasim Uddin of Thanchi police station said the armed members of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) used two jeeps for robbing the banks at Thanchi on 3 April.

Kafil was driving one of the vehicles and he was being quizzed, said the OC.

OC Abdul Jalil of Bandarban police station said the cops and other law enforcers are carrying out separate drives in different areas of the district.

Such drives will be continued, he added.

Security has been heightened and additional forces were deployed in Bandarban district following launching of the joint crackdown to arrest the armed KNF members involved in bank robberies and abduction, and recover the looted money and firearms.

Several armoured personnel carriers (APC) were seen patrolling at different points of the district.

In a series of attacks, KNF members stormed the Ruma branch of Sonali Bank on 2 April, kidnapped its manager, and looted firearms and ammunition of the police and Ansar members on duty.

The following afternoon, they robbed the Thanchi branches of Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank, looting approximately Tk18 lakh in broad daylight.

The Sonali Bank branch manager was reportedly released on Thursday evening, two days after being abducted, following a ransom payment of Tk15 lakh.

The terrorist group also launched attacks on the Thanchi police station, BGB camp, and upazila parishad on Thursday night, resulting in a massive gunfight between the police and the BGB.

Police filed six cases on Friday – four at the Ruma police station and two at the Thanchi police station – in connection with the attacks.

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) also arrested the chief coordinator of separatist outfit KNF in a special operation in Bandarban on Sunday.

The arrestee was identified as Cheosim Bom, 55, son of late Roal Khub Bom of Sharan Para in Sadar upazila.

The joint forces also arrested two active members of the KNF from the Bethel Para under Ruma upazila in Bandarban district on Monday.

Inter Service Public Relation Directorate (ISPR) in a press release also said seven locally made rifles, 20 rounds of bullet, a laptop, uniform and boot were also recovered during the drive.

However, details regarding the arrest and recovery could not be known till filing the report till Monday evening.

Of the arrestees, 49 were held at Bethel Para of the upazila on Monday afternoon.

Bandarban Additional SP Hossain Md Raihan Kaemi confirmed this.  

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