UP ATS zeroes in on city shops involved in illegal arms racket

Police suspect the gang,which imported parts from abroad and sold assembled arms,trawled such shops to recruit gun enthusiasts.

Written by Gautam S Mengle | Published:May 14, 2013 3:21 am

THE Uttar Pradesh (UP) anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has identified at least seven arms and ammunition shops in Mumbai,Kanpur and other parts of UP that are believed to have been part of an illegal arms racket in which Mumbai resident Alwyn D’sa was recently arrested. The shops allegedly played an important role in more than one aspect of the racket.

ATS officials said D’sa was recruited by co-accused Shivanandhan Shetty at a gun shop in Haryana. Police suspect the gang,which imported parts from abroad and sold assembled arms,trawled such shops to recruit gun enthusiasts.

The shops would also allegedly supply the accused guns with outdated bores. These guns would be stripped,modified and resold.

“Many guns sold by the accused were modified. It is easy for people with knowledge of guns to change bores. The outer frame does not matter as long as the internal machinery is in fine working condition. Inner equipment corresponding to new bores would be imported and guns modified. An old gun of say .355 bore would be bought for Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000,modified into a 30-06 bore and sold at anything between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh,” said sub-inspector Ravindra Singh of UP ATS.

He said ATS had definite evidence against two such shops in UP and was examining documents of other shops.

UP ATS will soon make a second trip to Mumbai to probe some gun shops and suspect Ravindra Singh,who reportedly owns a bar in Ghatkopar. D’sa (80),a retired Air India employee,was arrested from his residence in Salvation Colony,Dadar,on April 30. He allegedly used fake papers to import gun parts in the guise of computer spares. Police found literature on assembly and maintenance of firearms in his house and he is believed to have joined the gang soon after retirement in 1996.

gautam.mengle@expressindia.com

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