Three Italians hide ammo in 5-star hotel, arrested
Three Italians have been arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell. The arrest comes after the discovery of 24 military-grade live cartridges and two empty pistol magazines from a five-star hotel here.delhi Updated: May 27, 2010 23:19 IST
Three Italians have been arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell. The arrest comes after the discovery of 24 military-grade live cartridges and two empty pistol magazines from a five-star hotel here.
The three have been arrested for having smuggled the ammunition into the country.
The Delhi Police had issued a Look-Out Circular (LOC) after the ammunition was recovered from a room of Radisson Hotel. The trio had checked into the hotel on May 24.
While one of them was picked up by the immigration department at Mumbai airport on Wednesday, the other two were detained at Pune airport.
According to Police, 24 live .357 magnum rounds, two empty magazines and two pistol springs were found hidden inside an air conditioner duct of a hotel room one of the trio had stayed in on May 24 evening.
The three detained men have been identified as Giovanni Cecconella (42), Gulio Pomelto (46) and Donato D’ Angelo (43). The trio were brought to the Capital late in the evening by a team of four personnel of Vasant Kunj (South) police station.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said the ammunition was found by hotel housekeeping staff when they were cleaning room 448 and heard some odd noise coming from the AC.
“They opened the AC to find the reason behind the noise and found 24 live cartridges of .357 bore German-made SIG Sauer pistol, two empty magazines and two pistol springs. Soon after being informed, a police team reached the hotel and seized the ammunition and pistol parts. A case under section 25 of Arms Act was registered,” he said.
The police said Gulio Pomelto, who had checked into the hotel around 1 am on May 24, had stayed in the room for seven hours before leaving for Pune. Gulio had stayed in room 448 while Giovanni Cecconella and Donato D’ Angelo had stayed in rooms 474 and 349.
A scan of the hotel records and scrutiny of the CCTV and X-Ray baggage scan footages of the hotel was carried out. The X-Ray footage showed the ammunition and pistol parts in the laptop bag of the Italians.
The police team immediately issued a LOC for the three men. The three were reportedly brought to the Capital late in the evening.
Police officials said there are contradictions in their statements. During questioning, one of them said he had boarded a direct flight to Mumbai from Delhi, without the Pune stop.
The local police in Mumbai have contacted the Italian consulate general in Mumbai, who in turn are in touch with their nationals and are providing them consular assistance.
The case was later transferred to the Delhi Police’s special cell for further investigations.
All three Italians are employees of Petronas Petrochemical Company and had come to India on business.
First Published: May 27, 2010 23:18 IST