Former Formula One CEO Bernie Eccelstone was reportedly arrested in Brazil on Thursday for illegally carrying guns while boarding a plane for Switzerland. Reports claimed that Eccelstone was later released on bail after paying an amount of $1,257.55 as he took a private jet to Switzerland shortly afterwards.
Reportedly police informed that Ecclestone admitted owning the gun but said he was unaware it was in his luggage. Police said, “Ecclestone acknowledged owning the gun but said he was unaware it was in his luggage at the time. The Briton paid bail and was freed to travel to Switzerland.”
The Sao Paulo state public security official confirmed that a businessman was arrested for possessing a firearm at Campinas’ airport but did not name him directly. Police described the weapon, which was seized, as an unloaded 0.32 LW Seecamp pistol. The British business magnate, who left the series in 2017, is a frequent visitor to Brazil because he has a family there.
Speaking of Eccelstone, he remains one of the most influential figures in motor racing, and has also spread his interest in other sports. In October, the International Ski Federation had said that they were not turning to the 91-year-old’s advice to promote Alpine skiing.
In terms of Formula One, Eccelstone rose to fame in the sport in the late 1970s when he sold its TV rights. Four decades after, the British business magnate controlled the sport until he decided to step down. While the 91-year-old is one of the most successful figures in motorsport, he is also known for controversy.
Eccelstone belongs to one of the few people who had declined a knighthood when it was offered to him in the early 2000s as he claimed that he didn’t ‘deserve’ it. He reportedly stated that he would be more happy if he had benefit the country in some way, but since he had not set out with that purpose in mind, he believed he did not deserve such recognition.