Police seize arms haul in Mumbai



Mumbai: With the seizure of 15 sophisticated firearms brought here from Uttar Pradesh and the arrest of a weapons' supplier, city police on Monday claimed to have pre-empted several crimes that could have been unleashed by "underworld members" before or during the civic body polls.

On a tip-off, a trap was laid near Ghatkopar railway station last night when the accused Ritesh Singh (27) was found moving suspiciously, police said.

"Singh was caught when he was found with 15 excellent quality pistols, 7.65 mm caliber cartridges and 24 magazines concealed in a bag," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.

"Since two months, crime branch unit VII had inputs that a large quantity of firearms would be delivered in Mumbai for the members of underworld gangs who may have planned to create trouble before or during the civic body polls," Roy said.

"Singh, a resident of Varanasi, knew whom to deliver the weapons," he said, adding the accused had earlier supplied weapons in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The gun supplier boarded Mahanagari Express in Varanasi and arrived in Mumbai yesterday.

A preliminary probe suggested that pistols bearing the made-in-US mark were actually manufactured in Bihar, Roy said.

"Recovering the cache is perceived as a severe blow to the nefarious designs of the underworld gangsters who planned criminal activities in the metropolis," he said and added that police are trying to find out the recipients of the weapons and also figuring out the locations likely to be targeted.

The civic polls are scheduled in February next year.

PTI