Friday, July 15, 2022

Most parts of 45 guns found from couple at IGI airport ‘genuine, could shoot with slight tweaks’

New Delhi: Most parts of the 45 guns found in the possession of a couple in Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Monday were “genuine, and with slight modifications, could be used to shoot people,” sources in the security establishment told ThePrint Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the customs department Tuesday, the accused — identified as Jagjit Singh (41) and Jaswinder Kaur (31) — returned by flight from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Monday, when they raised the suspicion of customs officers in the airport by their behaviour.

The officers then intercepted the couple with the two bags in their possession, which had been handed to them by Manjit Singh, Jagjit’s brother, and a third accused in the case. Upon further investigation the officers found 45 handguns, worth Rs 22.5 lakh, in these bags, the statement added.

After the guns were found, customs officers recovered them from the bags and seized them under Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 (dealing with seizure of goods, documents and things) and the accused were arrested under Section 104 of the same Act, the statement had further said.

Manjit had reached the airport on a flight from Paris and handed over the bags to the waiting Jagjit and Jaswinder, the statement added. The authorities are on the lookout for him.

“Most parts of the guns are genuine, but the barrel is not. The parts can be dismantled & assembled again with a genuine barrel. Further, the metal is not of very good quality,” said a source in the security establishment.

The source added that the handguns were of the kind commonly found in India, and could be used to shoot somebody, but only with a modified barrel and a 0.22 calibre bullet.

A senior officer in the customs department told ThePrint that six-seven varieties of guns were found in the bag, which the accused had procured from France for Rs 4,000-5,000 (each), with the intent of selling them in India for Rs 50,000-60,000 each.

According to the officer, Jagjit and Jaswinder are married and reside in Defence Colony, Gurgaon. The two had allegedly gone to Vietnam about five days back, as part of an elaborate scheme to smuggle weapons into the country.

The guns found in their bags were of Italian origin, and were smuggled in from France by Manjit Sigh — Jagjit’s brother — who had arrived from Paris by flight at 2 am, around the same time the accused arrived from Vietnam, the officer claimed.

15/07/22 Tanvi Terhan/Print

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