Anyone for thermos or tea cup? Maybe aaloo or bhindi… | Pakistan Today

Anyone for thermos or tea cup? Maybe aaloo or bhindi…

To supply illegal weapons in the arms-infested city, smugglers are using codenames – “thermos” for Kalashnikov, “tea cups” for pistols and “spades” for light machine guns – during conversations to escape the watchful ears of law enforcement agencies (LEAs).
Similarly, hand grenades are referred to as “potatoes”, pistol rounds “peanuts” while bullets of Kalashnikov and other long range rifles are called “ladyfingers”.
The codenames are used during conversations on mobile phones or at the time when the consignment is to be handed over.
Sources in the Special Branch of police told Pakistan Today that more than six organised groups based in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) are involved in smuggling weapons to the city while some arms dealers are also involved in the illegal trade.
“Karachi being the financial hub of the country is on the target of anti-state elements and the sale of illegal weapons is at its peak as heavy weapons were being stocked in the violence-hit city,” they claimed.
The sources claimed that weapons are smuggled from different countries to Balochistan and KPK where the locals also have the expertise to manufacture and assemble weapons, including Kalashnikovs, repeaters, Beretta pistols, Uzi machine guns, rocket launchers and other sophisticated weapons.
The smugglers are also well-aware of the locations of the LEA check posts and adopt different routes and tactics to smuggle the weapons to Karachi from Balochistan and KPK.
Deliveries are made through different routes: from Peshawar to Karachi via Lahore and from different cities of Balochistan to Karachi via Jacobabad.
“The groups have strong links within the security agencies and are kept informed about the movement of the law enforcement personnel,” the sources said.
The transporters and drivers of inter-city buses are considered the backbone of this illegal business and are paid up to Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per shipment. The deliveries are received at different entry points of the city, including Sohrab Goth, Quaidabad and Hub Chowki.
The smuggled weapons are dumped in different areas of the city, including Orangi Town, Sohrab Goth, Shershah, Ibrahim Haidery and suburbs of Malir and Bin Qasim towns.
The sources alleged that some of the farmhouses, situated in Malir and Bin Qasim towns, are also being used by miscreants for the illegal business.
“Owners of four farmhouses were found to have rented their properties to the weapon dealers,” they said. “Two of them were also arrested in December last year, but were released on the pressure of some influential personalities.”
An official, requesting anonymity, said that the smugglers have a strong network but the LEAs are making efforts to break down their system of communication. “We are collecting information about the mafias working in Karachi and will launch a crackdown soon.”
“Six gangs, each with 10 to 15 members, are actively involved in the sale of illegal weapons. The members have links with the criminal groups as well as weapon dealers,” he added.
Reportedly, some arms dealers in the city are also purchasing the illegal weapons only for the sake of huge profits.
“There is a vast difference between the prices of locally-manufactured and imported weapons,” the official said. “A local-made legal pistol is priced at Rs 8000 to Rs 10000 while an illegal weapon of the same type is available at around Rs 4000 to Rs 5000. However, an imported Chinese TT pistol costs above Rs 20,000.”
The LEAs claim to have arrested many arms suppliers who had been active for many years and supplied huge caches of heavy weaponry to various groups and anti-social elements working in the metropolis.
In recent years, hundreds of citizens have lost their lives to the intermittent spates of politically-motivated violence often attributed to the increasing “weaponisation” of the multi-ethnic metropolitan city.

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