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News


Firearms dealer granted bail

By Ayesha Wijeratne
A gun repair shop owner, who was arrested at Welikada by the recently set up Western Province Security Operations Unit (WPSOU) headed by Senior DIG Nimal Lewke for allegedly possessing arms and ammunitions in the High Security Zone, was released on surety bail of Rs. 5,000 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Kumari M. Abeyratne last week.

When the case was taken up in court on January 26, the Magistrate ordered the Police to report to the court on February 20 after referring the licences that were produced before court by the suspect.

Suspect Mohomad Reeza
Mohideen of Colombo 4 had been running a firearm repair shop located on the second floor of the Welikada Plaza building for about one year.

The suspect was taken into custody along with some productions by a Police team led by Chief Inspector Percy Michael of the WPSOU based on information received by them, on the instructions of Senior Superintendent of Police Noel Chandana Kudahetti of the WPSOU.

Police sources said the suspect possessed many items including a double barrel shot gun, two air riffles along with a large number of live ammunition.

Among the items recovered were one .38 revolver bullet, twenty seven .32 pistol ammunition, twelve .32 large ammunition, eight 6.35 ammunition, six 7.65 pistol ammunitions, one KF 75 ammunition, one 38 special cartridge, 32 twelve bore live cartridges, 36 of 20 Holland live ammunitions, 38 of 20 E.L.E.Y.O.T live ammunitions, 94 of 16 B.E.L.E.Y.O.T live ammunitions, two 70 mm live ammunitions, 20 yards of safety fuse, one telescopic sight that can be fixed on a weapon, two rechargeable batteries, four packets of unidentified brownish powder, 2,400 caps used for muscle loaders, 700 blank ammunition, 400 cartridges used for air guns, seven metal balls used for filling shot gun cartridges along with a licence issued for repair of weapons valid for 2008 and a licence issued by the Assistant Controller of Explosives in Colombo District.

SSP Kudahetti told The Nation that most of the ammunition recovered from the arrested suspect was hardly found even in conflict areas. Many of them are normally used by underworld groups for their activities.

The SSP said he received information that the suspect was selling these items to the underworld for thousands of rupees.
According to him, the suspect had worked as an explosive dealer for many years and earlier he had been running his business in the Hanwella Police area before he shifted to the current place at Welikada. Only the security forces are permitted to use such high calibre pistol ammunition.

Welikada Police, however, said that although the suspect had not renewed his licence for 2009 his father and even his grandfather had been running this business for many years under licence.

Welikada Police reporting the facts to the Magistrate had said, the suspect had been running this firearm repair shop under a licence although he had been unable to produce his licence for 2009 during the arrest by the
WPSOU.

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