A truck cleaner has been arrested for trying to sell a pistol and seven cartridges. While the pistol was originally made in India, the man was attempting to pass it off as an Italian-made pistol and sell it for Rs 3 lakh.
According to crime branch officials, the accused has been identified as Samir Salamat Shaikh. Acting on a tip-off, inspectors Prashant Raje, Bhaskar Kadam, Hridaya Mishra and Prafull Patil arrested him on November 6, near Dreamland Cinema, Grant Road for possession of a pistol and seven cartridges. However, his accomplice managed to flee the spot and evade arrest.
During interrogation, Shaikh (22) told police that he is a truck cleaner by profession and a resident of Sewri.
Shaikh is a small-time oil thief in Sewri, but failed to make much money, so he decided to try his hand at arms dealing.
He went to Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh near the Nepal border and bought a pistol for Rs 2,500. Shaikh wanted to sell it for much more, so he got the words ‘made in Italy’ imprinted on the pistol. He was going to sell the pistol for Rs 3 lakh to a customer at Grant Road, but Unit- II officials caught him.
Shaikh revealed that when he learnt about a boom in the realty market, he decided to invest money in real estate after selling the arms. He had plans of selling more than 12 pistols in the process.
“The weapon is well polished. It is actually made in India, but has been imprinted to appear as if it was made in Italy. This is a big syndicate and we are trying to crack the case,” said Nishikant Patil, senior inspector, Unit-II.