Punjab Police have nabbed an arms smuggler who fetched foreign-made expensive pistols and rifles for rich brats and budding gangsters of Punjab from the Uttar Pradesh territory adjoining the Nepal border.
The preliminary inquiry reveals that Ranjit Singh Dupla, 37, of Badwar village of Barnala district, used to get delivery of flashy weapons from Lakhimpur Kheri and Bareilly districts of UP. The firearms came all the way from Myanmar through the northeast route.
The police recovered nine weapons from Dupla, which include a Walther pistol (.9mm) of Germany, Ruger pistol (.9mm) of the US, P Beretta 306 rifle of Italy, Smith and Wesson (.9mm) pistol of the US, 3032 Tom Cat pistols, North America, and Winchester rifles made in Finland.
Dupla, who is popularly known as Bai Dupla of Hathiarawala, used to sell these weapons to rich brats and emerging gangsters of Punjab who adored latest weaponry either to flash it among peer groups or to carry out unlawful activities.
The cost of every weapon varies between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 22 lakh depending on its make, technology and ability to fire with precision.
On October 18 last year, the cops had stumbled upon 15 such weapons, which made the top brass of Punjab Police sit up and take note as to how these expensive and flashy brands of firearms were making inroads into the Punjab territory.
Faridkot SSP Charanjit Singh revealed that the police had also recovered Rs 15 lakh in cash, a jeep and a Verna car from Dupla. “We are probing his links with local gangsters and have recovered weapons he used to sell to the rich brats of Punjab,” said the SSP.
During interrogation Dupla revealed that he used to meet a guy by the name of ‘Gupta’ in Lakhimpur Kheri and Bareilly to get his weapon consignments. It is also being investigated if ‘Gupta’ and many such smugglers used to hand over similar consignments of weapons to other handlers as well, the SSP said.
He said Dupla had been into weapon smuggling since 2010 and so far had made 22 trips to UP.
Dupla, a 12th class pass, connived with arms dealers in Punjab to get fake bills issued against each weapon after paying Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. On the basis of these bills, Dupla would sell the guns to the desired clients.
He comes from a rich agricultural background and owns 25 acres of land at Badwar village besides another 37 acres in Rajasthan.
“Had we failed to nab him he would have flown to the US in 15 days, where he has successfully taken immigration. His son has already gone to the US and we are looking for his wife to ascertain her involvement,” said the SSP.