The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Friday arrested one person for his involvement in import of lookalikes of regular weapons from European countries.
Police said the ‘business’ had come to their notice after a Tata Nano carrying 146 pistols, 40 revolvers, 8,700 cartridges, one 12- bore gun and nine daggers was impounded and two persons, Vijay Kumar and Ranjan Paswan, were apprehended during preparations for the Independence Day celebrations on August 12.
“The incident had shocked everyone because such a huge cache was recovered just ahead of Independence Day. Questioning of Kumar and Paswan revealed that the recovered arms belonged to one Manjeet Singh Mahal, a builder who is also involved in the illegal import of arms from European countries. Special teams were formed to nab Manjeet Singh,” DCP, Special Cell, Sanjeev Yadav said.
“Several informers were deployed to provide clues about Singh’s whereabouts. On Friday, we received a tip-off that Singh would be in Paschim Vihar, West Delhi, to meet a contacts. A trap was laid and Singh was arrested from the service road, near Paschim Vihar,” Yadav said.
During questioning, Mahal told police that for the last six years, he had been importing sophisticated weapons from Germany, France, Austria and other European nations to sell in India.
According to police, these weapons, which are exact lookalikes of regular weapons, are legal in Europe and can be purchased there with proper identification and billing.
“Since these weapons come with ‘muzzle constrictors’, they can be used to fire ‘blank cartridges’ only. Their demand among ‘wannabe’ criminals and others whose intent is primarily to spread terror is high,” Yadav said.
“They can be called ‘impact weapons’. In the absence of proper regulations governing their import, sale and licencing, they are becoming the weapons of choice for many, who just use them to show off,” Yadav said.
Police said the weapons were imported for nearly Rs 12,000 a piece abroad and passed off in the local grey market for prices ranging between Rs 40,000 and Rs 70,000.
“The cartridges that were sold along with the weapons were purchased for Rs 15-Rs 25 a piece and fetched around Rs 80 a piece in the local market. To sustain the growing demand of his clientele, spread over various states, Singh used to travel abroad twice every month.
Over the years, it is estimated that he sold over 700 such weapons in Delhi and adjoining states,” a police officer said.
Police are now making efforts to identify other members of his syndicate.
Investigation in the matter is on, police said.