Illegal arms trade continues unabated in Navi Mumbai
NAVI MUMBAI: The arrest of a youth with two country- made pistols at Kalamboli recently has once again proved that the rackets of illegal arms trade are still active in the city.
Apart from sending people to sell such firearms to the locals of Navi Mumbai, the people from other cities also choose this city for striking such deals, the police said.
Officials from Navi Mumbai crime branch said that around 60 such cases were registered and over 70 illegal firearms were seized from dealers between 2014 and 2015.
The number of cases goes up before elections and political events. People directly or indirectly involved with politics want to have such firearms as police confiscate their licensed firearms weeks before the elections.
In one such case, the police arrested a total of six people, including a KDMC corporator in July last year.
Shekhar Bagde, senior police inspector of NRI police station, who busted a big racket of the illegal trade last year, said, “There is an important reason why people from other places to choose Navi Mumbai for such
deals. Geographically, the city appears to be the central point between Mumbai, Thane and the rest of Maharashtra. Weapons are first transported to Thane from other states and are then brought here. The prospective
buyers come from different places and give cash for firearms. It is also easy to flee the city through Sion-Panvel highway.”
Bagde arrested a total of five people and seized six pistols, 13 magazines, 89 lives cartridges and two luxury cars in June last year.
Suresh Mengade, deputy commissioner of police ( special branch), said, “Almost all the illegal firearms seized in 2014 and 2015 were manufactured in north Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A majority of them were factory-made pistols.”
However, it is not easy to get the name of the manufacturers, as the weapons have tags like ‘ made in US’, ‘ made in UK’ or ‘made in China’.
“The weapons look sophisticated. Only after closely examining the weapons, we get to know that they are not imported but manufactured in UP and Bihar,” said another officer.