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Lethal weapons found in NRI doc’s backyard

An Indian-American doctor has been arrested after authorities found machine guns and grenades worth more than $1 million in and around his home in a small town in Arkansas.

world Updated: Mar 13, 2009 01:35 IST
HT Correspondent & AP

An Indian-American doctor has been arrested after authorities found machine guns and grenades worth more than $1 million in and around his home in a small town in Arkansas.

Dr Randeep Mann, 50, would remain in custody pending his trial, US Magistrate H. David Young ordered on Tuesday. Young said he was unconvinced Mann would stay in the country if released on bond. Mann’s attorney, Blake Hendrix, said he might appeal against the ruling.

Mann, a specialist in internal medicine and described as a graduate of the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune on the website wellness.com, is a naturalised US citizen. He lives in London, 80 miles from state capital Little Rock.

After city workers uncovered a canister of 98 grenades near Mann’s property last week, federal agents searched his home and found 110 machine guns and grenades designed to be launched from military rifles.

Authorities said Mann had a permit to sell registered machine guns, but at least four of the guns found in his home were not registered in his name.

Prosecutors had argued that the doctor’s frequent travels abroad and family ties in India made him a flight risk.

But his wife, Sangeeta Mann, testified that her husband rarely left the country and that her in-laws visited once a year. Prosecutors had claimed that Mann left the country 121 times since March 2007, which Hendrix said would be difficult for a practising doctor. While prosecutors said Mann’s father, Kuldip Mann, worked as an arms dealer, Sangeeta said her father-in-law spends most of his time in a wheelchair.

Mann was interviewed by the police on February 4, the day a homemade bomb injured a West Memphis doctor who chairs the medical board, which had disciplined Mann in the past. However, an attorney said Mann was not a target of the investigation into the bombing.

Mann was sanctioned in 2006 after several of his patients died from a lethal mix of drugs or an overdose of prescription medicine. Mann said that the patients abused the drugs.

Calls to Mann’s attorney and his clinic were not returned.