A committee will be formed to investigate whether licensed arms dealers are importing, selling Israeli-made Uzi semi-automatics to local buyers
The government on Sunday sat with licensed arms dealers and importers to discuss recent law enforcement agency reports that said they were selling military-grade semi-automatic Uzi pistols.
The meeting, led by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, was held at the ministry in Dhaka.
In the meeting, it was decided that a committee will be formed to investigate the matter of licensed arms dealers importing Israeli-made Uzi semi-automatic .22 calibre pistols under fake declarations and later selling them to local buyers.
The government is expected to decide the future of the aforementioned gun model based on the report filed by the committee. Till then, it has suspended the import and sale of such guns in the country.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed, Public Security Division Senior Secretary Mostafa Kamal Uddin, and officials from different law enforcement and intelligence agencies were present at the meeting.
Denying the claims made by law enforcement agencies, Nasir Ahmed, secretary general of the Bangladesh Arms Dealers and Importers Association, said: “We have told them [the government] that these are not pistols. In fact, they are rifles. We have explained everything and submitted all of our documents related to this to the home minister.
“It is inscribed on the body of the gun that it is ‘Made in Germany by Walther’ [an arms manufacturing company]. The model we sold is not the Israeli-made Uzi pistol, but rather a replica. We don’t know why the police are calling them Uzi pistols,” he added.
The committee to probe the matter will include an official from the Home Ministry, Bangladesh Police, Special Branch (SB) of police, and a representative from the Bangladesh Arms Dealers and Importers Association.