BCAS starts probe into security lapse at Madras airport

The BCAS along with other investigating agencies have started questioning the personnel responsible for the security of the airport complex after Sellmeyer(58) was arrested when an Austrian-made 'Calibre 40' weapon was found from his baggage, they said.

Sellmeyer told the CISF personnel during interrogation that he carried the same weapon when he flew into Madras from New Delhi a fortnight back.

"The BCAS officials have started questioning the CISF personnel as well as the airlines ground staff for their role in the incident," they said.

Sellmeyer was detained by the CISF personnel when they found the weapon while scanning his baggage as he arrived to board a Mumbai-bound flight and handed him over to airport authorities.

He had come to Chennai last month from New Delhi to undergo treatment in a private hospital.

Official sources said that during a joint interrogation by the CISF and airport officials, Sellmeyer reportedly confessed that he had on May 27 travelled from Delhi to Chennai with the same gun on a domestic flight.

The passenger had kept the gun in his baggage which was cleared by the security agencies when he reached Chennai last month, sources said.

Sellmeyer had told reporters that he was not aware of the Indian laws that carrying firearms in the flight was an offence. Police said that they recovered 35 bullets and three magazines.

The American Consulate has been informed about his arrest, officials said, adding that the Consulate had confirmed that Sellmeyer was a US citizen.

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