Hyderabad, Nov (IANS) The Hyderabad police have busted a fake arms license racket with the arrest of a seven-member gang including the mastermind from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Real weapons were being procured by using fake licenses prepared by the accused.
The commissioner's task force seized 30 single bore weapons, 3 double bore weapons, 1 revolver, 140 rounds, 34 fake weapon license books, 29 unused weapons license books, 9 weapon licences which were affixed with fake stamps, 6 rubber stamps and 1 unsigned NOC.
Police Commissioner C. V. Anand said the accused used fake seals of licence issuing officials and forged the signatures to prepare the fake arms licences and procured real weapons. This posed a great danger to the security of the city as illegal weapons are in circulation and being used for various purposes by dubious means, he told a news conference.
The mastermind of the racket Altaf Hussain is a resident of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. He came to the city in 2013 to earn a livelihood and joined Grace Management Security Service. Later he was deployed as a gunman in SIS cash service, west Marredpally. Prior to his employment in the city, he purchased a double bore gun using a fake arms licence in Rajouri which he had obtained by bribing the local magistrate office.
"As he was familiar with the process and licence details he teamed up with Hafeezuddin, a stamp vendor in Secunderabad, and started issuing fake gun licenses by indulging in forgery and affixing fake seals.These fake documents have been used to procure real arms," the police chief said.
Altaf later started issuing fake arms licenses and trapped the unemployed youth residing in J&K who tried to make a living as security guards in private security firms. Using the fake All India Licenses (Rajouri based), weapons were procured from other states by these gullible youths for Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000.
According to the police, this happened with the connivance of Venkata Konda Reddy, Regional Manager at Grace Management Security Services and I. Srinivas, a xerox shop owner in West Marredpally. The accused used to collect Rs 20,000 from each unemployed youngster and later deployed them in various private security agencies. Asian Security Services, Nandamuri Security & Services, Grace Management Security Dervices engaged security guards, who were in possession of illicit weapons, and deployed them to their clientele which includes VIPs, jewellery showrooms, agencies engaged in carrying ATM cash and as personal security guards.
Acting on a tip-off, the West Zone task force busted the racket. The accused have been booked under charges of cheating, forgery, making counterfeit seals, criminal conspiracy and illegal possession of arms.
"The power of issuing arms licenses and renewals is vested with the police. This is illegal and a serious threat to public safety. The private security firms must adhere to the Private Security Agency Regulation Act (PSARA) under which the operation of private security agencies is governed. A private security agency cannot hire a guard with a firearms licence and they should also submit an undertaking to this effect. If banks, ATMs, business establishments etc want armed guards, they can apply for a arms license and then hire the armed guards as retainers from the security services," the police commissioner said.
The Hyderabad police have also alerted other commissionerates and district collectors.