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3 Italians Held After Cartridges Found In 5-Star Hotel

Three Italians were detained in Mumbai and Pune on Thursday morning after 24 cartridges were found from a room in a 5-star hotel near Indira Gandhi International airport where they were staying, police said.  Twenty-four
PTI May 27, 2010 20:49 IST
PTI
Three Italians were detained in Mumbai and Pune on Thursday morning after 24 cartridges were found from a room in a 5-star hotel near Indira Gandhi International airport where they were staying, police said.  

Twenty-four live cartridges and two dismantled empty magazines of Italian make were recovered from Room No 448 of Radisson Hotel by its staff on the evening of May 24.  

The trio - Giovanni Ceccomello, Donato Dngello and Giulio Ponetto - were detained at Pune and Mumbai airports, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said here.  

52-year-old Ponetto was planning to fly to Munich in Germany by LH 765 Lufthansa Airlines to evade arrest, Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Rajnish Seth said in Mumbai.  

He was handed over to Sahar Airport police by immigration officers at the Mumbai airport, he said.  

The Pune police said the two others were picked up from a hotel in Shivajinagar area of the city where they were staying as sales representatives of a company.  

The Italians, working with petrochemical company Petronas, had checked into three rooms in Radisson Hotel on May 24 and left after seven hours, Dhaliwal said.  

"The cartridges were recovered when hotel staff went inside the rooms for cleaning. They noticed that there was an unusual sound from the air-conditioner. A mechanic found the cartridges in a polythene bag in the AC shaft," Dhaliwal said.  

Soon after, police was informed and a case registered under the Arms Act and CCTV footages as well as footages of baggage scanner were checked, a senior police official said.  

"From this, we found that similar material was in the laptop bag of the Italians. A look out notice was issued yesterday and they were traced to Mumbai and Pune," he said.

Asked whether there was any oversight on part of the hotel staff, Dhaliwal said, "It appears so." However, they immediately informed police when the cartridges were detected, he said.  

In February, two British nationals were caught from the same hotel for plane spotting. They were later let off. PTI