Posts Tagged ‘Bahrain’

Gun clamp call after robberies – Bahrain

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Calls for gun control are coming after a string of robberies in Bahrain.

Original Story Via:

Bahrain urgently needs to tighten its gun control laws following six armed robberies in just over five months, says a leading MP. An investigation should be launched to find out if the arms are being smuggled into the country or how weapons used by the security forces are getting into the hands of criminals, said Parliament Foreign Affairs Defence and National Security Committee chairwoman Sawsan Taqawi.

“There has been a surge in robberies this year, with robbers entering money exchange outlets with a gun and fleeing with thousands of dinars,” she told the GDN.

“No one is allowed to keep weapons and there are no shops selling them in Bahrain.

“Only people who are authorised to keep guns are Public Security forces or BDF officers.

“The question is, how are these robbers getting guns in Bahrain? Are they smuggling them? If so, from where?

“If it’s through the King Fahad Causeway or another country, what is the Interior Ministry doing about it?

“We need the ministry to answer these questions for us and we are going to highlight this issue in the upcoming parliament session.”

The Bahrain Bloc member also called for extra police patrols in trouble hotspots to try and prevent more robberies.

Her comments come as police yesterday continued to hunt for a masked man who held up a currency exchange shop at gunpoint in Maqaba.

He reportedly escaped with BD2,000 from the Bahrain Finance Company (BFC), off Budaiya Highway, at around 11.30am on Saturday.

A police forensic team was sent to the scene to check for fingerprints and CCTV footage.

The shop was temporarily closed, but had re opened yesterday.

BFC general manager Errol Fonseca said five staff members were inside the shop when the robbery took place.

“The man had a gun and he escaped with BD2,000,” Mr Fonseca said.

“One of the staff members called the head officer and we called police, who arrived with forensic team at the scene and launched an investigation.

“Although there was a robbery, we are open for business and our staff members are there to serve our customers.

“We are taking care of our staff members and have asked them to call us immediately if they sense any danger or notice any illegal activity in the branch.”

It is the second time the BFC has been targeted this year after two armed men fled with more than BD20,000 from its branch in Salmabad in May. Police arrived at the scene after the cashier pressed the alarm button, but the robbers had fled by then.

It happened just over a week after a masked gunman dressed in a thobe robbed a Travelex outlet in Riffa and escaped with around BD5,000, after threatening an Indian cashier at gunpoint.

The Money Exchange in East Eker was also robbed by gunmen who fled with BD9,000 in August. A masked gunman escaped with BD376 from the Zenj Exchange in Salmabad on September 25.

A masked man also held up a 24 Hours supermarket in West Riffa at gunpoint last Wednesday and escaped with an unknown amount.

Meanwhile, police are also investigating an armed robbery at the Najad Market in Hoora on Saturday.

Three Bahrainis reportedly threatened owner Balacheeri Mohammed Ali and worker Mohammed Yousif with a knife and escaped with a till containing BD150.

Forensic teams recovered the weapon from the scene.

Mr Ali told police the suspects, aged between 20 and 25, had visited the market three days before the robbery.