Ecclestone ‘arrested after gun found in luggage’

2022 F1 season

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Bernie Ecclestone was arrested, and later released on bail, after a gun was found in his luggage when he attempted to board a flight in Brazil, Reuters has reported.

The 91-year-old former Formula 1 CEO is married to Brazilian Fabiana Ecclestone, who became the FIA’s regional vice-president for South America last year.

Ecclestone was boarding a private flight to Switzerland, where he owns a residence in Gstaad, when police found an LW Seecamp .32 gun in his luggage during a pre-flight X-ray scan. The weapon is a type of compact automatic pistol and measures around 14cm.

Ecclestone was taken to Viracopos airport in Campinas, a short distance from Sao Paulo, where Brazil’s round of the Formula 1 world championship is held. After being arrested, he paid bail and was allowed to fly to Switzerland.

Ecclestone ran Formula 1 prior to its sale to Liberty Media at the end of 2016. He was made chairman emeritus, a role which expired at the beginning of 2020.

During his stay in Brazil, Ecclestone attended a stock car event at Interlagos in Sao Paulo and was pictured with former Ferrari F1 driver and ex-FIA karting president Felipe Massa.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Ecclestone ‘arrested after gun found in luggage’”

  1. A small gun for a small man, makes sense.

    1. A small comment from a small brain

  2. “I know it’s illegal, but I can easily afford bail – so, no problem.”

    1. Exactly…

      Most laws don’t even exist for rich people!

  3. Too cheap to employ a bodyguard :))

  4. Oh well at least I can console myself that this rich ancient guy must be terrified of being robbed at all times. Or he’s a nutcase. Probably both.

    1. @davidhunter13 back in 2010, Bernie was targeted by robbers who punched him to the ground and then kicked him in the head before stealing his watch, resulting in him requiring hospital treatment for his injuries.

      1. Which was bad. However, being armed and taking out that gun would be far worse in Brazil. Absolutely guaranteed to get you killed. And anyhow, as a defensive weapon, it doesn’t make sense to have a gun stored in your luggage where it’s completely inaccessible. On your way to Switzerland. In a private jet.

  5. I really don’t know what my feelings are on Bernie. I often wonder what the already written obituaries look like. He seems to be able to laugh at himself, but then has one million dollars in cash in a glass case in his office and negotiated over it. But not in a Trump way, Bernie has always seemed more of a ‘troll’ before the term existed.

    I assume he’ll deny culpability, someone will get paid, he wont apologise, six months time everyone will have moved on.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      26th May 2022, 22:26

      Tomorrow everyone will have moved on.

  6. Still a shady character

  7. Well that’s the unexpected news story of the day. Though his history with German courts suggests he’ll probably pay his way out of this one as well!

  8. This was not on my Monaco weekend bingo card.

  9. Sergey Martyn
    26th May 2022, 18:43

    Who was he going to kill?
    Or hijack a plane?
    It would be more practical to buy firepower in Brazil

    1. Surely he was carrying a personal firearm while in Brazil and just put it in his luggage for the flight to Switzerland?

      Probably not legal but he’s a very wealthy man visiting a risky country. And he’s a very old man which may be why he didn’t think about the consequences of carrying a gun through an airport.

      Odd story.

      1. Sergey Martyn
        26th May 2022, 19:39

        Thank god it was just a tiny gun, another very old man across the Pond has an access to a tiny nuclear button….

      2. Nevertheless a stupid move, unless he was fearing to get mugged inside his private plane. His wife is Brazilian and he used to stay in his mention there so Brazil is not new to him.

        I assume his security is already arranged inside Brazil with bodyguards licensed to carry firearms and driving him in armoured vehicles if he needs driving at all. Helicopters and private planes are popular means of transportation for wealthy people in Brazil. In Europe it’s not that hard to get hold of a firearm if you really willing to pay for it considering the criminal activities of the different gangs between Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France…

        1. Sergey Martyn
          26th May 2022, 22:24

          Yeah I hardly can imagine that 90+ year old millionaires travelling on feet clutching some pistols without a lot of armed bodyguards not only in Brazil, but in far more safer countries.

  10. I am an insecure little joke.
    I will do anything for attention.

    1. Whoa –

      I genuinely just flipped from posting this to looking at the news.
      Ray Liotta just died.
      Now there was a man who looked like he didn’t need a gun to be a guy!

      1. @nullapax Though he’s on record as saying that he never got into a fight in his life. Just a great actor.

  11. He lives in Brazil. That should be evidenc enough for the reason he carrying a gun.

  12. Not a Bernie fan, I’m thinking so what, he forgot to take it out of his bag before he flew. With his $, he should hire some local security and forget the gun. At 91, he is likely more of a danger to himself than someone else :)

  13. The pistol is NOT an automatic, it’s a semi-automatic

  14. Kudos to Bernie for still living in Brazil, if I were him I’d be packing nukes, brave 90 year old guy.

  15. Tiaki Porangi
    27th May 2022, 4:36

    The urge to write “thugg life b!atch!” is absolutely overwhelming right now.
    How I wish this site allowed GIFs, too…

  16. Electroball76
    27th May 2022, 6:38

    Ah, Bernie. Always trying to spice up the show.

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