Bernie Ecclestone was apprehended by local police in Brazil
Ex-Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was taken into police custody on Wednesday after he allegedly tried to take a gun with him to Switzerland on a private flight from Brazil.
Local police confirmed that they found an un-documented LW Seecamp .32 gun in the 91-year-old’s luggage during an X-ray screening, with Globo in Brazil saying that the item, which was not loaded, had been placed in a shirt pocket.
After the discovery, Ecclestone was then apprehended and taken to a police facility at Campinas’ Viracopos International Airport around 50 miles from the largest city in the country, Sao Paulo.
Ecclestone has a Brazilian wife, Fabiana Ecclestone, who is a member of the World Motor Sport Council and also motorsport global governing body the FIA’s vice-president.
The couple attended several events across her homeland this month, including a stock car race in the Sao Paulo state countryside, while also meeting with three-time F1 champion Nelson Piquet in the capital Brasilia.
Yet their time in South America’s biggest country ended with a brush with the law.
And while Ecclestone owned up to owning the gun, which he allegedly bought five years ago from an F1 mechanic to store in a rural property in Sao Paulo, he claimed to be unaware that it was in his luggage.
After paying a R$6,060 ($1,250) bail, the Brit billionaire was freed to continue his trip to Switzerland.
Spending 40 years as Formula One’s chief, Ecclestone stepped down from his role in 2017.