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Father-son jailed for arms smuggling in Bahrain

Manama, February 18, 2014

A Bahraini father and his teenage son have been jailed for 10 years each in connection with smuggling weapons into Bahrain.

The 49-year-old man, who worked for the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry, and the 19-year-old Bahraini were also fined BD500 ($1,309) each by the High Criminal Court yesterday for hiding and possessing the unlicensed firearms and ammunition, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Their co-defendant Redha Al Ghasra, who has masterminded several attacks against policemen since the unrest in 2011, was jailed for 15 years and fined BD1,000 for smuggling the firearms and selling and making weapons.

He was also convicted of attempted murder for trying to shoot policemen in Bani Jamra on May 24 last year.

The 26-year-old will now serve an 80-year prison sentence after earlier being jailed for a total of 65 years in 16 separate cases.

He was also among a group of prisoners, who escaped from the Dry Dock Detention Centre in May 2011 by dressing up as women.

During questioning, Al Ghasra confessed to being armed and ready to "kill" policemen if arrested.

"I always carry a black bag with me and in it I keep a pistol, which is loaded with 12 bullets. In case I get arrested I would shoot policemen," he said in his statement to prosecutors.

"On May 24 I was with him (teenager) in Bani Jamra and a policeman at a checkpoint tried to arrest me and I attempted to run away.

"I took out my pistol, loaded it and pointed it at the policeman but did not manage to shoot the officer.

"Before I was arrested I told him (teenager) to take the weapons I stored in my apartment and give them to a friend, which I think he did.

"I also led the police to a farm in Bani Jamra where we made homemade weapons.

"Police confiscated pipes, metal pieces and explosives from the farm."

The 19-year-old suspect told prosecutors he gave the smuggled weapons to his father, who hid it in a car repair shop he owns.

"He (Al Ghasra) gave me a pistol and kept three AK47s in an apartment in Bani Jamra that he got from a Saudi man," he said.

"He told me that if he was arrested I should take out the firearms and hand it over to a friend.

"So, I took the weapons and gave it to my father, who then hid it in a car garage he owns."

The 49-year-old father confessed to hiding the weapons and handed three bags containing firearms to police.

All three were convicted of possessing 12 pistols, three rifles and 254 bullets without a licence to use in terror acts, according to court documents.

Five other Bahrainis, who are still at large, were cleared of the charges yesterday due to lack of evidence.

According to court documents, the teenager was previously jailed for 12 months for taking part in an illegal gathering, while the father was also jailed for a similar case. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | son | father | Smuggling | weapon |

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