Five people were arrested by Ghaziabad Police for allegedly issuing fake firearm licences. The accused, Furkan, Sanjay Garg, Vinod, Hari Shankar and Sadanand, also allegedly sold the firearms to people after registering them on licences found to be invalid.
“The arrests were made Monday night, after we received information that a group of arms sellers was travelling from Hapur towards NH 24. The gang’s activities came to light when the case of two people, who had applied for a licence in Shahjahanpur collectorate, was transferred here. It was then found that the unique number issued to them was fake, and a gang was operating the nexus,” said Sudhir Kumar Singh, SSP, Ghaziabad.
Police said a letter to the Shahjahanpur DM sought information on the licences. An internet search of the licence number revealed they were fake.
Two other accused, Pavensh and Shyam Bihari, worked as contractual employees in Shahjahanpur collectorate, and had obtained an arms register dating back to 2007, after it had allegedly gone missing. Hari Shankar, a resident of Shahjahanpur and the alleged kingpin, got in touch with the employees, and the group began issuing back-dated licences. “The gang members, in collusion with the employees, would issue Unique Identification numbers to register arms. They would also use fake signatures of officers or authorities to make it look like a genuine arms certificate”, said Singh.
For each licence, the accused would charge Rs 5-10 lakh, which included the weapon’s cost. To authenticate the transaction, they would send a licence form and seek PAN or Aadhaar details. They would deliver the form 15 days later after taking an advance to make it appear like an official transaction, police said.
Police are now investigating if the firearms were sold to criminal gangs.