At age 80, this former flight engineer seemed the unlikeliest candidate for the role of a spare parts supplier in an illegal arms racket. And yet, investigations have led an Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Uttar Pradesh to octogenarian Allwyn D’Sa’s doorstep in Dadar. The team, working in tandem with the Dadar police, arrested the senior citizen yesterday, and recovered 239 bullets from him, in addition to several spare parts for pistols.
The police have revealed that the elderly man used to smuggle spare parts for pistol and guns from Singapore and supply the contraband to arms dealers in Uttar Pradesh. D’Sa is a resident of Salvation Apartments in Agar Bazaar, Dadar (West). He retired in 1991 from his job as a flight engineer with an airline. Instead of enjoying a leisurely life of superannuation, he changed over to a nefarious new career, supplying spare parts of weapons to dealers in the northern state.
“D’Sa used to bring spare parts of revolvers and pistols from Singapore, where they are available in the open market. He would then supply the parts to the arms mafia in UP, who in turn would sell them to crime syndicates,” said Police Sub-inspector Ravindra Singh of the UP ATS. The squad has also arrested Mohammad Khalid from Unnav district in UP, who allegedly assembled the pistols and sold them to Naxals. Two other accused identified as Junaid and Kalu Sharma have also been nabbed. They would assemble pistols in Kanpur after receiving the parts from D’Sa.
In order to nab the octogenarian, the squad roped in the help of Senior Police Inspector Prakash Patil and Assistant Inspector Jayendra Sawant. “The team recovered around 239 bullets, all of which are banned in India, and several spare parts required to assemble weapons like pistols and revolvers,” said Sawant. It is not completely clear how D’Sa smuggled the cache into the country, but the investigators have a fair idea of his modus operandi.
Police sources revealed that being an airline employee, D’Sa enjoyed the privilege of having free seats allotted for him in flights. He would visit Singapore regularly. His status as an airline employee allowed him to make friends in the airports at Mumbai and Singapore, and this in turn helped him get past security and sneak in the weapons without being detected. The ATS and the Crime Branch teams also interrogated D’Sa. According to police sources, he offered the explanation that collecting weapons was his hobby. He also said that his son is a rifle shooter, and shifted base to Canada recently. D’Sa holds a licence for possession of a single fire arm.