Three Italians from whose hotel room cartridges were recovered are yet to get a clean chit from the Delhi Police even as there was no clarity on how the ammunition landed there, police sources said on Sunday.
Police are awaiting a report from Italy about the antecedents of the Italians who were brought from Maharashtra on Friday after 24 live cartridges were recovered from their room in Hotel Radisson in New Delhi before giving an all clear certificate, they said.
Giulio Ponetto, Giovanni Ceccomello and Donato D'Angello, who have "joined the investigations", were picked up from Mumbai and Pune on Thursday, a day after 24 cartridges and two dismantled magazines were found from the hotel. The two Indians were later released.
"They have joined the investigations and are helping us in the probe. They are not under detention. Investigations are on. We have not found anything against them as of now. They have been continuously denying that they have planted the cartridges," a senior police official said.
The Italians have been questioned for the past three days, he said.
Police appear to be struggling to link them to the recovery. "We do not have any direct evidence to link them to the recovery," the official said adding they could be released soon if nothing is found.
Asked if the Italians are cleared in this case, then who do they suspect to be behind it, the official said, "we will be back to square one. We have to begin from scratch. It will be a tough job to find the origin."
Police are investigating whether they had smuggled the cartridges into the country or bought it here besides their contacts in the country.
The Italians, who claimed to be working with a petrochemical company, had checked into three rooms in Hotel Radisson on May 24 and left after seven hours, according to Delhi Police.
A case was registered under the Arms Act.