The Bahir Dar City police in Amhara Region of Ethiopia have confiscated 498 pistols hidden in the house of a police commander.
The weapons are confiscated following the information the public provided. Even though there were such illegal weapon movement in the region, the volume now captured from a police commander house is unusual, according to Deputy Commander Ayelign Tekelilo who spoke to mass media agency of the Region.
The report indicated that the commander allegedly involved in the crime is currently under custody and investigation is also underway on other suspected individuals.
Deputy Commander Ayelign has indicated that the Amhara Region has given 17 more days for individuals to legalize all the weapons in their possession. He urged the people to continue informing the police about such illegal movement of weapons to assure the safety of the public.
It is recalled that over the past few months several thousands of pistols, mainly made in Turkey have been confiscated in different parts of Ethiopia.
A report by Gun Policy estimated the total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Ethiopia in 2017 was 377,000. The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Ethiopia is reported by Customs to be $710,192. Following the political instability the country went through over the past few years, this figure is expected to increase by many fold.
Globally at the end of 2017 there were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world’s 230 countries and territories. Civilian firearms registration data was available for 133 countries and territories, according to small arms survey of 2017.
Survey results were used to help establish total gun civilian holdings in 56 countries. The new figure is 32 per cent higher than the previous estimate from 2006, when the Small Arms Survey estimated there were approximately 650 million civilian-held firearms.