Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) today unearthed a gun-running racket,involving licenced gun shops of Lucknow and Kanpur in supplying foreign-make semi-automatic sophisticated firearms to licenced shops and illicit suppliers in various states across the country.
Additional Director General (ADG) Law & Order Arun Kumar said that the gang used to assemble foreign-make firearms with original parts,smuggled from abroad,and sell them to licence holders at costly price. An ATS official said that the gang,which has been running the racket for about four years,had so far sold around 160 pistols carrying marks of Italian make Beretta and US make Llama,each at prices ranging from Rs 5 to 6 lakh.
The ADG said that Mohammad Khalid,owner of Lucknow-based National Gunhouse on La Touche Road in Qaiserbagh area,who is kingpin of the racket,and Mohammad Junaid alias Chhotey of Kanpur-based Bareilly Gunhouse,besides two of his employees were arrested from Unnao and Kanpur.
The ATS team also recovered two pistols of Beretta and one carrying mark of Llama which were assembled by the gang,along with a huge collection of parts of the foreign-make pistols smuggled from abroad,and instrument and machines being used for assembling the firearms,the ADG said.
During interrogation,Khalid revealed that Anil Jain,owner of Jain Brothers,which is a licenced armsshop at Sirsa in Haryana,had introduced him to Mumbai-based Shivanandan Shetty about five years ago. Shetty,who is lodged in jail presently,deals in smuggling of parts of foreign-make sophisticated weapons from abroad through Singapore and Canada.
Khalid started getting the parts from Shetty and assembling the firearms at his gunshop in Lucknow and later involved Mohammad Junaid of Kanpurs Bareilly gunhouse. The Kanpur shop is owned by Junaids father Arshad.
The accused confessed that he used to assemble Beretta and Llama pistols and supply the same to the licenced shops in various districts of UP and states like Bihar,Maharashtra,Kolkata,Haryana and Punjab.