NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police have arrested an arms supplier who tried to outwit the cops by placing 20 semi-automatic pistols, 40 magazines and 50 live cartridges inside a 15-litre tin of refined oil.
Abdul Salam was arrested on Thursday night from the Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) after officers from the special cell of Delhi Police became suspicious of the big oil tin in his hand.
Salam later told the police that he had received the consignment of recovered pistols and cartridges from an arms manufacturer in Sendhwa, Madhya Pradesh.
He also admitted to have supplied arms and ammunition to gangsters in Delhi-NCR and Western Uttar Pradesh for the past 10 years. His areas of operation included Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, among other places.
In 2010, he came in contact with a notorious arms supplier from Meerut who lured him to work for him as a courier boy. Later, Salam built his own network of procuring illegal firearms from Sendhwa, which he supplied in Delhi-NCR and Western UP.
“There are at least 10 cases against the accused, including for murder, attempt to murder and arms trafficking in Delhi and UP. He was handed life sentence in 2016 by a trial court in a case of murder registered in Meerut, but was acquitted by the Allahabad High Court after three years,” said P.S. Kushwah, DCP, Special Cell.
In 2013, Salam was arrested along with two of his associates by the Special Cell, which recovered 22 semi-automatic pistols from his possession.
Salaam has admitted to have supplied over 1,000 firearms in Delhi-NCR in the last six years. He used to bring arms from Madhya Pradesh after concealing them in various articles such as batteries, containers of refined oil etc.
“He used to procure a pistol for Rs 10,000-12,000 from MP and then sell it for Rs 25,000-30,000 to criminals and small arms traffickers,” Kushwah said.