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Billionaire Ex-F1 Boss Arrested At Airport For Carrying Gun In A Suitcase

Max Sherry

Published 
| Last updated 

Billionaire Ex-F1 Boss Arrested At Airport For Carrying Gun In A Suitcase

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been arrested at an airport in Brazil after security found an unlicensed gun in his luggage.

The 91-year-old was reportedly boarding his private jet at the Viracopos International Airport in Sao Paulo when officials dicovered the firearm in his bag during the security screening.

According to local reports in Brazil, Ecclestone was subsequently arrested at the scene and taken to a local police station where he was released on bail.

It's understood the .32-caliber L.W. Seecamp pistol was not loaded.

Sao Paulo state's public security secretariat said that Ecclestone “was detained after federal policemen found a gun in his luggage on Wednesday around 9:30 p.m. in the X-ray area of the Viracopos airport in Campinas.”

Police released a statement, adding: “Federal agents brought the man in for questioning... He was charged with carrying a firearm in contravention of the law.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

A number of media outlets are reporting that the billionaire business magnate admitted to owning the gun but was totally unaware that it was in his luggage and therefore didn't have the required documentation for it.

Apparently Ecclestone told police that he bought the pistol five years ago from an F1 mechanic.

As a result of his actions, the businessman was granted provisional release after coughing up 6,060 reais (approx AU$1,600).

He then flew to Switzerland shortly after walking free.

If convicted of illegally carrying an unlicensed firearm, the F1 icon could face up t four years behind bars.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Ecclestone has been involved in motorsport since 1949.

He first started off as a driver before becoming a team owner and then eventually moving into a role as F1 chief executive.

Ecclestone also had a spell as an owner of Queens Park Rangers between 2007 and 2011.

Forbes estimates Ecclestone's net worth at over US$3billion.

He has been married three times, has four children, five grandchildren and is a great grandfather with his most recent child being born just months before his 90th birthday.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia, Formula 1

Max Sherry
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