The US citizen, Shelmeyer Larry (name now also given by Police as Sell Meyer Larry) arrested in Chennai airport on Thursday, for carrying an unlicensed pistol, is alleged to have not declared the weapon even when he entered India last month, probably through New Delhi or Mumbai, Police sources later this evening said.
Stating that “very little is known” about this person, sources said that he had come to Chennai towards the end of May for medical treatment and had got himself admitted in a leading private hospital in the city.
However, sources said further interrogation on Thursday revealed that Shelmeyer, “got himself discharged” in two or three days from the hospital and went on a “tour of the Southern districts”, sources said. Last evening, he had returned to Chennai, came to the airport and tried to board a Jet Airways flight to Mumbai, but was quietly detained on suspicion, sources said.
The baggage scanner in the airport detected the unlicensed weapon in Shelmeyer’s possession last evening itself, Police later clarified today. Surprised and shocked at this, the Airport Authorities immediately informed the US Consulate in Chennai, seeking clarifications as “he is a foreign National”, sources said. This was done as a matter of abundant caution, they added.
However, with no reply coming forth from the US Consulate till today, Shelmeyer was arrested on Thursday under the ‘Arms Act’ and later in the evening lodged in Puzhal Central Prison on the city’s outskirts after being remanded to 15 days Judicial Custody by the Alandur Magistrate near the Airport.