Monday, May 28, 2012

India: American Arrested with Live Ammunition Reminds Travelers to "Sanitize" Carry-on Luggage

US citizen Jeffrey Jinnin Worn was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Saturday (May 26) on charges of possessing of live handgun ammunition as he prepared to board an outbound Turkish Airlines flight. The ammunition in his bag was identified during a scan of his carry-on luggage.

Worn reportedly told airport police that he had brought the ammunition, Hornady .45 auto+P, from the US, but was unable to demonstrate that he had declared the cartridges, nor did he have documentation that he was transporting ammo.

COMMENT:  During questioning Worn told police that he is a businessman dealing in dry fruits. He also said he did not know about the laws of the country, but only a naive traveler would know that it is illegal to transport ammunition in carry-on luggage.  He claimed to have a concealed pistol permit in the US, but as most travelers know or should know, such permits are not recognized abroad. He has been remanded into custody pending adjudication.

In my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, I emphasize that ALL travelers need to completely empty and sanitize their carry-on luggage before initiating travel and ensure that no contraband or banned items are being carried (e.g., nail clippers, knives, pepper spray, ammunition, firearms, etc.). Failure to do so, can result in undesirable, custodial detention compliments of the local government, as Mr. Worn has discovered.

As a side note, it is interesting to point out that Worn entered India on a tourist visa, but during questioning claimed he was a businessman, which could potentially add yet another charge to his predicament. If he, in fact, was doing business in India, he could face an immigration violation.