CID moves to create a database of all licensed firearms and bullets
Amid the sale of legal and licensed firearms to underworld criminals by authorised arms dealers, the law enforcers have finally taken steps to make a digital database with all the bullets and arms available in the country.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has started giving inputs of the available bullets and firearms into the software called "ABIS" for the first time in history.
ABIS (Automated Ballistic Identification Systems) are specialised software combinations, which are designed to capture, store and rapidly compare digital images of bullets and cartridge casings.
Mahbubur Rahman, additional inspector general of police, also the chief of CID, told The Daily Star yesterday that every firearms and bullet have a unique identification number like fingerprints.
"We will preserve all the existing firearms and bullets information inside the ABIS along with the license holder details and photographs.
"Once the database is completed, we would be able to check the status of the firearms or bullets anytime whenever we needed," he said.
It will also help to crack crimes, he explained.
"For example, if any bullets or firearms recovered from a crime scene then we will first search it into the ABIS with the help of the identification number. If the bullets were fired from any licensed arms then it will show in the software and we will be able to detect the person," he said.
The CID chief further said that they would also keep the record of total available licensed arms and bullets and their location. It will be a national database for firearms and bullets, he added.
CID has started the procedure for the digital arms database after a meeting with the legal arms dealers' association leaders yesterday. There are around 84 licensed arms dealers in the country.
Nasir Ahmed, general secretary of the association, told The Daily Star that CID wants to check the whereabouts and track the legal firearms of the country through a digital database.
"We have welcomed the move and assured of assisting them," he said.
The step may take some time but if the CID can able to do it then it will help, he added.
According to sources, CID has been using the ABIS since 2009 but they only used to keep a record of the bullets or firearms recovered from crime scene till date.
Rumana Akter, special superintendent (forensic) of CID, said they have asked the arms dealers to provide a copy of bullet shells after every sale.
"A special scratch mark created on the bullets once it fired from a gun. We would keep the record into our system," she told this newspaper.
"The process will save investigation time and help us to crack case easily," she added.
Earlier, several legal arms dealers were arrested by the Arms Enforcement Team of Counter Terrorism (CT) unit for selling legally imported and licensed guns to underworld criminals.
Officials said the arms dealers can sell bullets at seven times higher than the actual price in the black market.
On April 16 of 2018, the CT unit has arrested Jakir Hossein alias Bacchu, manager of legal arms selling shop "Samsul Islam Arms" and Safiullah Sikder Babu from the capital with a German revolver.
Bacchu and Babu are accomplices of top-listed criminal Sanjidul Hassan Emon, who was awarded 17 years of rigorous imprisonment by a Dhaka court in 2015 over possession of illegal arms and ammunition.
On March 29 of the year, the CT unit arrested four people, including an authorised arms dealer Anwar Hossain Babu, from Rangpur for selling legal arms to criminals. Babu is the owner of Sarker Arms Company in the district.
In 2012, the Detective Branch of police arrested BM Shahabuddin alias Khokon and Sayed Asadul Abbas with illegal arms. Shahabuddin is a legal arms dealer in Khulna and owner of "Shahabuddin and Sons" while Abbas is the owner of "Sayed and Sons" in Dhaka.
Mejbah Uddin, an inspector of the CT unit, who has been working against illegal arms for over a decade, said that it will reduce the criminal activities as there is a possibility of being traced or arrested by firing bullets from legal arms.