The Ghaziabad Police has busted a gang involved in making fake arms licenses and arrested five persons, officials said on Tuesday.
The gang used to sell arms too and was allegedly operating in connivance with two contractual employees of Shahjahanpur Collectorate. The five accused were arrested on Monday night, they said at a press conference here.
"The matter of fake arms licenses came to our knowledge when two people applied to get their pistol licenses, which were issued by the office of the Shahjahanpur district magistrate, transferred here," Ghaziabad District Magistrate (DM) Ajay Shankar Pandey said.
A search for the unique identification numbers of the licenses on the internet revealed that they were invalid, he said.
"A letter was immediately sent to DM Shajahanpur and the matter was brought to the knowledge of the Ghaziabad Police," he added.
Pandey said the gang's kingpin, Hari Shankar Awasthi, a resident of Shahjahanpur, and his accomplices were issuing fake licenses with the help of the two contractual employees of Shahjahanpur Collectorate -- Pavensh and Shyam Bihari.
The 2007 arms licenses register of Shahjahanpur had somehow gone missing, following which an FIR was lodged in the district, he said.
Taking advantage of the missing register, Pavensh and Bihari were making back-dated fake licenses by copying the signatures of the issuing officer, he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh said the accused were arrested from the Diamond Flyover on Monday night following a tip-off.
Besides Awasthi, they have been identified as Furkan, Sanjay Garg, Vinod, all natives of Ghaziabad's Vijay Nagar colony, and Sadanad, a resident of Shajahanpur, he said.
Pavensh and Bihari are still at large, he added.
The gang members have confessed to making false licenses and selling arms. They charged Rs 5 to 10 lakh for a pistol along with a license, SSP Singh said.
Five weapons and 17 copies of forged licenses were seized from them and an SUV was impounded, he said.