Suspects used social media platforms to woo buyers
The Counter-Terrorism Department has busted a gang allegedly involved in selling illegal weapons through social media platforms, according to CTD In-charge Raja Umar Khitab,
While addressing a press conference at his office on Thursday, Khitab said that a cell was established in the CTD on the instructions of the provincial police chief, which was tasked to stop the smuggling and supply of illegal arms in the province.
The cell arrested four suspects, namely Azmatullah, Bashir Khan, Fazal Jan and Farmanullah, during separate raids in different localities of the city and recovered 18 illegal handguns, magazines, and a huge number of bullets from their possession.
Khitab said that arms dealers from Peshawar, Dara Adam Khel, DI Khan and other districts were involved in the illegal arms smuggling who advertise their business through Facebook and other social media platforms. These dealers include Wasif Jan, Naveed, Abdul Naseer, Bilal, Moeez Afridi, Rehman, Owais and others.
According to the CTD in-charge, these dealers use WhatsApp groups to woo potential buyers. After negotiating the price of a weapon, they ask for 50% advance, while the remaining amount is received at the time of delivery. They use passenger buses to send the weapons through their agents who contacts the buyer and hands over the purchase after receiving the outstanding amount.
The arms dealers do this illegal business in an organized way. They charge the buyers extra for getting them licences for their weapons. They forge licences and make ditto copies of the licences issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
As per law, at the time of sale of a firearm, two casings have to be submitted for forensic analysis, but since there is no record of the smuggled arms, it makes it difficult to investigate cases involving illegal weapons.
The CTD in-charge said that they have been investigating the past sale and purchase of such weapons and more arrests were expected soon.