Bernie Ecclestone has been arrested in Brazil for illegally carrying a gun while boarding a plane to Switzerland.
Bernie Ecclestone has been arrested in Brazil for carrying a gun as he boarded a private jet to Switzerland, according to authorities.
Brazilian police said they found an undocumented LW Seecamp .32 gun in the former Formula One supremo’s luggage during an X-ray screening. Ecclestone acknowledged owning the gun, but said he was unaware it was in his luggage at the time, police said.
The Briton paid £990 (A$1750) bail and was freed to travel to Switzerland, The Sun reports.
Ecclestone, 91, is married to Brazilian-born Fabiana Ecclestone, an FIA vice-president and member of the World Motor Sport Council. They attended several events in the South American country in May, including a local Stock Car race in the countryside near Sao Paulo and a meeting with triple world champion Nelson Piquet in Brasilia.
Ecclestone was arrested on Wednesday at 9.30pm Viracopos Airport in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Globo reports.
The gun was spotted by the x-ray machine in the pocket of a shirt that was in his luggage.
When taken for questioning, he reportedly told airport police he had no knowledge of the weapon.
Bernie was famously chief executive of Formula 1, until he was replaced by Chase Carey.
He and Fabiana live a life of luxury – swimming in a fortune believed to be around £3 billion (A$5.3b)
Not only does he have use of a £30 million (A$53m) yacht, Ecclestone also has luxury homes, a coffee plantation and his own mountain.
Aside from motorsport and love of Chelsea FC, Bernie has a passion for coffee.
It’s what led him to buying an impressive £8 million (A$40m) farm in Brazil that’s bigger than Monaco, where he creates his own batch called Celebrity Coffee.
Over 30 people work on the farm, where there are around 600 cows and cattle, 18 horses, six ponies, eight dogs, and dozens of chickens and swans.
In 2016, Ecclestone’s helicopter pilot was arrested on suspicion of being the mastermind of a plot to kidnap his mother-in-law.
Aparecida Schunk, the mother of Ecclestone’s wife, was snatched from her home in Sao Paulo by armed robbers who posed as delivery men.
A police kidnap squad in Brazil stormed the building where she was being held and found her tied up before freeing her.
Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria – who was the president of the Brazilian Helicopter Pilots Association until April 2015 and overlooked all the F1 helicopter operations in Sao Paulo until 2014 – was later arrested in a luxury condo in the Granja Viana district of Sao Paulo’s Cotia region, close to where the victim was being held.