The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Sindh police recently dismantled an online arms dealers’ gang in Karachi that had been operating from Malaysia. This operation sheds light on the evolving tactics employed by criminal networks in the digital age. The gang’s activities spanned across borders, involving illegal arms sales and smuggling from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to Karachi.
Arresting Suspected Members
The CTD’s operation resulted in the arrest of five suspected members of the online arms dealers’ gang in Karachi’s Korangi area. The gang leader, identified as Rashaan, was reportedly orchestrating the criminal enterprise from Malaysia. The arrested individuals, Faisal alias Kodu and Mohsin, played key roles in facilitating online smuggling of weaponry into Karachi.
During the operation, CTD officials made crucial recoveries. Among the confiscated items were a 9mm pistol and stolen motorcycles, underscoring the gang’s involvement in a range of criminal activities beyond arms smuggling. The recovery of stolen motorcycles highlights the interconnected nature of criminal networks and the need for comprehensive investigations.
Links to the Burmi Gang
Faisal Kodu, one of the arrested individuals, was found to have connections to the notorious Burmi Gang. This revelation is a stark reminder of how criminal networks often collaborate and share resources. In this case, Faisal’s role extended to providing arms to the assassins of Safdar Rizvi, acting on the directives of gang leader Rashaan.
WhatsApp Facilitating Illegal Sales
The CTD investigation revealed that the gang utilized WhatsApp as a platform for illegal arms sales. This digital approach allowed them to operate discreetly and efficiently, demonstrating the adaptability of criminal organizations to emerging technologies. Faisal Kodu’s involvement in delivering arms to buyers for a fee of Rs5,000 per delivery highlights the gang’s systematic and profitable operation.
Five Arrests So Far
The recent operation is part of a broader crackdown on illegal arms dealings in Karachi. In total, the CTD has arrested five individuals linked to this online arms dealers’ gang. The arrested members include Faisal alias Kodu, Junaid, Molvi, Zubair Mohsin, and Shah Fahad. These arrests signify a significant achievement in dismantling a dangerous criminal network that posed a threat to public safety.
Previous Arrest in Pirabad
In February, the CTD arrested Nazar Shah in Karachi’s Pirabad area while he was delivering an illegal weapon to buyer Muhammad Shahid. Nazar Shah’s approach involved leveraging social media platforms, notably Facebook and WhatsApp, to advertise his illicit arms sales. He even created a dedicated page named “FATA ARM’s Factory (Afridi Bhai Brand)” for promotion. This case highlights the growing trend of criminals utilizing social media’s anonymity and wide reach for illicit gains. Operating a sophisticated online arms trade, Nazar Shah set weapon prices via WhatsApp, requiring a 10% online advance payment. Weapons were then delivered nationwide in three to four days, with delivery personnel earning Rs10,000 per pistol—a testament to the efficiency of contemporary criminal enterprises.
The recent successes of the CTD in dismantling online arms dealers’ gangs in Karachi are commendable and crucial for maintaining public safety. These operations underscore the growing influence of digital platforms in criminal activities, as criminals adapt to new technologies for their illicit endeavors. Law enforcement agencies must continue to evolve and collaborate across borders to counter such threats effectively. The apprehension of individuals like Nazar Shah and Faisal Kodu sends a strong message that illegal arms dealing will not be tolerated, and those involved will face the full force of the law.