ATS nail 80-year-old arms dealer in Dadar raid

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80 yr oldA team from the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad discovered a cache of gun parts, arms literature and diagrams at the home of an 80-year-old Dadar resident on Tuesday. It didn’t take long for the team to conclude that Alwyn D’sa (80), a former maintenance engineer with Air India, was the man who had been supplying spare parts for illegal weapons manufactured in Uttar Pradesh. The sleuths from UP tracked down D’sa based on information from two arms dealers from Unao and Kanpur, whom they arrested on April 17.

On Tuesday morning, the team knocked on the door of flat 504 in Salvation Apartments, Dadar. They asked the old woman who answered for Alwyn D’sa’s whereabouts, upon which she called out to her husband in the next room. As soon she did so, the cops let themselves in.

Over the next couple of hours, the ATS team searched the entire 2BHK apartment and found several cartridges, magazines and other parts used to make guns, apart from arms literature and diagrams of several makes of pistols and revolvers.

“The two dealers were arrested on charges on making weapons and selling them illegally. Apart from making sophisticated guns, which designed like foreign-made ones, the gang also used to procure old, unusable arms and refurbish them. The refurbished weapons were then sold through licensed arms shops as new ones,” said Sub Inspector Ravinder Singh of the UP ATS.

Singh said that the two revealed during their interrogation that they would get spare parts to make weapons from a person in Mumbai. Armed with this lead, the sleuths arrived in Mumbai. First they went to Ghatkopar in search of another suspect, but could not get much information. They then went to Salvation Apartments on Acharya Raosaheb Kale Marg in Dadar. Not too far from Siddhivinayak temple, the 12-storey building has 40-odd flats and mainly houses professors, doctors and other professionals.

The team was initially perplexed as the building didn’t seem like the type where an arms spare-parts supplier would be living. They were even more puzzled when the old woman opened he door. However, when their search turned up over 500 cartridges and magazines of at least 19 types of weapons, they knew they had got their man. They also found ejectors, springs, hammers and other spares used in the manufacture of guns.

“All the parts have been sourced from Canada and Singapore. D’sa used to travel to these countries and source most of his supply from there, though he also had some parts manufactured locally. He is a former Air India employee and we believe he was helped by someone at the airport to sneak the spares into the country,” said Singh.

Singh added that D’sa, who lives with his wife and 40-year-old daughter, had travelled to Lucknow five times in the past couple of years. “We have matched his cell phone records and confirmed his presence in Lucknow. His meetings with arms an manufacturing syndicate has also been confirmed,” Singh added.

For now, D’sa is being booked on charges of conspiracy. At the time going to press, he was being taken to Dadar police station, where a formal case would be registered. “We will take him to UP on a transit remand. This is just the beginning,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, other residents of Salvation Apartments were shocked on hearing about the case. “He came across as a nice guy. I would often run into him and greet him. He seemed like any other senior citizen, leading a peaceful life,” said Nandakishore Amburle, a resident of the building.

Other residents said that the D’sa family had come to live there eight years ago, when the building was completed. “He lives here with his wife and daughter. I remember him telling me that his other kids live abroad,” said another resident, who did not wish to be named.

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