F1: Ecclestone arrested on gun charge (2nd Update)

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has played down widespread reports that he was arrested in Brazil after trying to smuggle a gun onto a plane.

“I wasn’t arrested, I was questioned,” the former F1 supremo, who is now 91, told Bild newspaper.

Ecclestone actually lives in Brazil with his wife and their two-year-old son, and he was boarding his own plane for a trip to Switzerland.

“I had a small, tiny handgun, like the kind a woman carries in her purse in case someone jumps on her,” the diminutive Briton explained.

He also claims the gun was only “accidentally” in his suitcase, after he “waved it around a little at home and then put it on a t-shirt which was then packed with the gun”.

The gun itself was a Seecamp LWS 32 – one of the smallest pocket guns in the world.

As for his reported arrest, Ecclestone explained: “Everything was very friendly, very nice, and there were many Formula 1 fans I could talk to.”

He also told the Swiss newspaper Blick: “I hope the world has other important problems with guns, like Ukraine and at the school in Texas.

“It was just that I never registered this pistol that I’d long forgotten about. I bought it from a mechanic in the paddock and I didn’t have ammo for it.”

Another problem that delayed his release was that he had trouble paying the approximately $1200 fine because he had “no Brazilian currency” on him.

“In these times,” Ecclestone insisted, “the only important thing is that the family is healthy. My son Ace, who is almost two now, is already the real dictator in the Ecclestone house.”

May 27, 2022 

Former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone denied on Friday he had been arrested in Brazil and said an illegal gun found in his luggage before boarding a flight was never used and had no ammunition.

The 91-year-old Briton, now in Portugal, told Reuters a “silly, tiny little incident” had caused a lot of aggravation as he and his family tried to leave Sao Paulo by private plane on Wednesday night.

“I haven’t had any publicity lately and I thought I ought to do something to get some,” he joked in a telephone conversation.

“I was never arrested,” said Ecclestone, who confirmed that he had to pay 6,060 reais ($1,260) bail before being allowed to leave.

“They wanted it in local currency which we never had,” he added. “So there was another drama trying to find the money. I was leaving the country, I didn’t have any local money.

“It was a bleeding drama, unnecessary, over a nothing.”

May 26, 2022 

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been arrested in Viracopos Airport, São Paulo, for illegally carrying a gun reports Reuters.

The weapon, a 32 caliber pistol, was detected as his bag passed through security as he prepared to board a private flight to Switzerland.

Although acknowledging that the gun was his, the 91-year-old claimed he was unaware of it being in his luggage.

Ecclestone paid bail and was permitted to complete his journey to Switzerland.



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