Offbeat news from the world of sport
Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was arrested in Brazil on Wednesday after being caught carrying a gun while trying to board a private plane.
The 91-year-old was attempting to travel to Switzerland when the arrest occurred. Brazilian police had found an undocumented LW Seecamp .32 gun in Ecclestone's luggage during an X-ray screening as he boarded the flight.
The Englishman admitted to owning the gun but insisted he was unaware it was in his luggage at the time, and after paying his bail, he was free to travel to Switzerland as planned – though glancing at Brazilian gun laws, it appears Ecclestone got very lucky indeed.
According to legislation passed in 2019, penalties for illegal gun possession in the South American country range from anywhere between one to three years in prison. In addition, Brazilian law outlaws the manufacture, sale, and import of toys and replicas of guns that could be confused with real weapons.
In short, they're usually heavy-handed when it comes to gun crime of any kind, and the F1 supremo can count his lucky stars he was allowed to even be released from custody.
Ecclestone is married to Brazilian-born Fabiana, 46, and the two have a child together, Ace, who was born in 2020. The couple got hitched a decade go, three years after Ecclestone divorced wife Slavica, with whom he has two daughters. He also has another daughter with his first wife, Ivy.
It's understood that Bernie and Fabiana spend a lot of time visiting the latter's family in her native Brazil, especially since her mother was kidnapped and held for a £28 million ransom back in 2016. She was fortunately safe and well nine days later.
Ecclestone is the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, who manage Formula 1. He was removed from his post in 2017 following the organisation's takeover by Liberty Media.
He has an estimated net worth of £2.5 billion according to The Sunday Times Rich List last year.
- Bernie Ecclestone
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