‘Both brothers were smuggling arms from Europe for a decade’, big disclosure in airport pistol case

Recently a couple from Gurugram was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport with 45 pistols. Now the investigation of this case has become a big revelation. Investigation has revealed that one of the accused Manjit Singh and his younger brother Jagjit Singh were allegedly importing handguns from Europe to India for over a decade. The arms smuggling was allegedly carried out under the guise of a textile business from their Austrian and Gurgaon offices and residences.

On July 11, Jagjit and his wife Jaswinder were caught with 45 pistols worth Rs 22 lakh at the IGI airport. The couple came from Vietnam. During investigation, when the customs department found weapons kept in two of his trolley bags, he was arrested. On 18 July, the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested Manjeet from Dwarka on charges of smuggling arms from France. Customs officials had said that Manjeet had also reached the IGI airport at the same time and handed over the weapons to Jagjit.

As reported by The Indian Express, the investigation team found that Manjeet and Jagjit were allegedly smuggling empty pistols from different countries under the guise of their business, Three Circles Exports, to evade arrest. In 2014, Manjeet and two of his associates were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from Dwarka with over 150 pistols and revolvers. Weapons were recovered from the Tata Nano car during checking. Manjeet was later released on bail. All the pistols recovered were empty but with ‘slight modification’ they can be used to shoot someone. During interrogation, the accused told the investigating team that their father had a real estate business but wanted to start something of his own. Police said that in 2000, Manjit traveled to Hong Kong and started a business of importing clothing. Soon, Manjeet got a visa in Austria.

A senior official said, “Within a few years, he came in contact with some people in Austria who were selling weapons illegally. When he came near India, he allegedly contacted gun houses in Delhi and Gurgaon. He found that the demand for such pistols was high. He had reportedly started importing pistols from Austria, Germany, France and other countries.” He said that this entire business was being done under the guise of textile business. Jagjit also joined his brother and went to Austria for some time. She also married an Austrian citizen but the couple separated in 2017. Later she married Jaswinder.

Each weapon was bought for Rs 4,000- 6,000. In Delhi and Haryana they were then sold at ten times the price. The officials found that the brothers were allegedly making huge profits since 2007-08. He also reportedly opened an office in Austria to deal with gun sellers and contacted them via social media.

A team led by DCP Rajeev Ranjan, ACP Sanjay Dutt and Inspector Chandrika Prasad found that the accused have 4-5 properties, allegedly including a farmhouse in Gurgaon, besides Kalkaji and Dwarka in Delhi. Manjeet revealed during interrogation that he too had gone to the US and wanted to settle there but did not get the visa.

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