Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was arrested in Brazil on Wednesday evening for illegally carrying a gun at an airport.
The 91-year-old was travelling from Viracopos International Airport in Sao Paulo to Switzerland via private jet when he was detained by Brazilian authorities.
It’s understood that the security X-ray detected a 32-caliber LW Seecamp pistol inside a shirt pocket, which was packed in Ecclestone’s luggage.
The weapon did not have any ammunition or a magazine but Ecclestone was unable to provide the necessary documents after being detained.
Ecclestone admitted to Brazilian police that he owned the gun but did not realise it was in his suitcase.
In his statement to the police, Ecclestone stated that the gun was purchased from a mechanic five years ago and was kept at a rural property in Sao Paulo.
He was then released by the authorities after paying a R$6,060 (£987) bail and travelled to Switzerland.
The crime of illegal possession of a weapon in Brazil carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison, however, Brazilian authorities decided to release Ecclestone on account of the ‘nature of the offence’ as well as Ecclestone’s background.
Ecclestone is said to have spent a month in Brazil and was travelling with his wife, Fabiana, who acted as a translator during his interview with the police.
Ecclestone and Fabiana attended several events in Brazil in May, including a local Stock Car race in the countryside near Sao Paulo and a meeting with three-time world champion Nelson Piquet in Brasilia.