New Delhi: In a first instance of crippling terror funds being generated from the business of illegal arms, the Enforcement Directorate has registered cases of money laundering against gunrunners and mafia from Bihar`s Munger district.
The pistols from the district have also been found to be used by operatives of Indian Mujahideen.
The ED has recently registered two cases under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against pistol makers and a handpicked team of the agency is currently touring the area under Bihar Police protection to unravel the black money and stash funds involved in this illegal business.
The infamy of these easily accessible and cheap illegal weapons with criminal gangs and terror outfits had prompted the ED to take cognisance of a Bihar Police FIR in this context and register its own case-- an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR).
Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Abhyanand had also written to the ED headquarters in Delhi sometime back to deploy their action and not only crackdown on these illegal units on the banks of the Ganges but also choke their funds and stifle their monetary resources.
"The ED has been brought into the picture as so far police action was only putting the `karigars` and some gang leaders who run this business behind bars for sometime.They came back in circulation sooner or later and the vicious cycle of illegal arms manufacturing and smuggling gets started again," sources privy to the development said.
With the assets of these people, howsoever large or small, seized and attached under money laundering laws, the person is deprived of the benefits of his ill-gotten funds and also helps build a water-tight legal case against them, the sources said.
"The agency will probe the proceeds of crime under PMLA and take possession of assets of wrongdoers and criminals in a time-bound manner," they said.
Easy accessibility and low cost are the unique selling points of Munger`s 9mm pistols where the buyers even get a heavy discount on bulk orders.
This has led to the availability of the weapons in various parts of the country especially Maharashtra, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
Available somewhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 with a magazine free, the demand for Munger weapons is in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, the national capital region and adjoining areas and even in neighboring Bangladesh.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police, during the nterrogation of Feroz, an Indian Mujahideen terrorist, found that his team had also purchased Munger weapons from Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
The Munger weapons are made from specialised lathe machines which are located on the outskirts of Munger city with the first set of `karigars` making various parts of the pistol.
This raw material is later taken to `ganga khadar` (small islands within the river) where another set of `karigars` assemble the weapons for supply to the market.
With an agency like ED coming into picture, the security agencies aim to completely close down this business which has posed a big challenge for them as these weapons had flooded the criminal world.