Kingpin of Dwarka blank-firing arms haul case arrested

The alleged kingpin behind the mega blank-firing arms haul case in south west Delhi`s Dwarka area ahead of Independence Day has been arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 23, 2014, 21:57 PM IST

New Delhi: The alleged kingpin behind the mega blank-firing arms haul case in south west Delhi`s Dwarka area ahead of Independence Day has been arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.

Manjeet Singh Mahal, to whom the consignment of the blank-firing weapons allegedly belonged, was arrested last evening following a tip-off from near a hotel in Paschim Vihar in west Delhi, police said.

"Singh had absconded and was being hotly pursued by Delhi Police. Considering the gravity of the matter, a team of Special Cell was also searching for him," said DCP (Special Cell), Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.

Singh was arrested under Section 41.1 CrPC and brought to the office of Special Cell, Lodhi Colony.
On August 12, a Quick Reaction Team of Delhi Police had intercepted a Tata Nano car from which 146 pistols, 40 revolvers, 8,700 cartridges, one .12 bore gun and nine daggers were recovered. Two persons were arrested with the weapons.

The incident, which took place ahead of Independence Day, had sent security agencies into a tizzy.

The interrogation of the apprehended duo -- Vijay Kumar and Ranjan Paswan -- revealed that the weapons belonged to Singh, a builder by profession who was said to be also involved in the illegal import of such weapons from several European countries via devious routes.
"These weapons are exact replicas of regular weapons. Since these come with `muzzle constrictors` and, therefore, can be used to fire blank cartridges only, their demand is high amongst ruffians, wannabe criminals and others whose intent is primarily to spread terror," said Yadav.

They can be used as `impact weapons` and, in the absence of proper regulations governing their import, sale and carrying licence, etc, are becoming the weapon of choice for many, he said.

These weapons are imported for about Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 apiece and passed off in the local grey market at prices ranging from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000, thus accruing great profits to the supplier, police said.

The cartridges for these weapons are purchased at a cost of Rs 15 to Rs 25 apiece and fetch about Rs 80 in the local market.

During his questioning, Singh disclosed that for the last five to six years, he has been involved in the import of these weapons from Germany, France, Austria and other European countries.

Police said that to sustain the growing demand among his clientele, which was spread over several states, Singh used to travel abroad generally twice every month. Over the years, it is estimated that he has pushed over 700 such weapons in Delhi and adjoining states.

Efforts are on to identify other members of his syndicate who were involved in the racket, police said.