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
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