Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, 91, arrested in Brazil over illegally carrying gun

Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has been arrested in Brazil over illegally carrying a gun at an airport, it has been confirmed by local police.

The 91 year old was travelling from Viracopos International Airport in Brazil to Switzerland with a private jet when he was detained by Brazilian authorities.

The security X-ray detected an undocumented 32-calibre LW Seecamp pistol in a shirt pocket, which was located in Ecclestone’s luggage.

Local Brazilian publication Globo has revealed that Ecclestone admitted in his statement to the Brazilian police that he was the owner of the gun but did not realise it was in his suitcase.

The gun was in a shirt pocket located in Bernie's luggage and did not have the magazine or ammunition.

Ecclestone stated that he purchased the gun from an F1 mechanic five years ago. It was stored at a rural property in Sao Paulo.

He was arrested and then taken to a facility at Viracopos airport in Campinas.

Ecclestone paid a R$6,060 (£987) bail and was free to travel to Switzerland.

Illegal possession of a weapon in Brazil carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

However, Brazilian authorities released Ecclestone on account of the "nature of the offence". They also took into account his high-profile background.

Bernie is married to Brazilian-born Fabiana Ecclestone. She is an FIA vice-president and a member of the World Motor Sport Council.

According to Reuters, Bernie and Fabiana attended the local Stock Car race in the countryside near Sao Paulo and a meeting with triple world champion Nelson Piquet in Brasilia this month.

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