It happened to me! Foolish human that I am, I decided to use my range bag for a carry-on for a trip to the UK. Before departing The Land Of the Free and the Home of the Brave for The Land of Hope and Glory, I searched the bag with a fine-toothed comb. OK, nit-pickers, I used my hands. Anyway, I missed a single, solitary .22 cartridge – worth $42.70 at today’s prices – wedged deep into a side seam. The TSA missed it as well (they were busy frisking someone in a wheelchair). But not the UK scanners. My ten-year-old and I were given the third degree. Thankfully, eventually, the MP5-wielding police let us go without a cavity search or sanction, save a stern talking to. We could have been arrested. Check this tale from Pakistan [via zeenews.india.com] . . .
Islamabad: A United States citizen was arrested at Islamabad airport on Friday for attempting to board a plane carrying ammunition, Pakistan officials said, in the second such case since May.
The man, who was identified by police and airport security as a US security trainer, was passing through security checks at Benazir Bhutto International Airport when he was caught with 15 rounds for a 9mm handgun.
Muhammad Fayaz, a police officer deputed at the airport, said: “The Airport Security Force (ASF) has handed over to us a US national after recovering a magazine and 15 bullets from him.
“The bullets and magazine were discovered through a scanning machine.”
An airport security official told a news agency that the man was set to travel by Etihad flight EY-232 from Islamabad to Abu Dhabi and onward to the United States.
“He is residing in the US embassy as a security trainer,” the official said.
A spokesman for the US embassy was not immediately able to provide confirmation of the arrest.
The incident came two months after US FBI agent Joel Cox was arrested at Karachi airport and detained for a few days for carrying the same type and amount of ammunition.
The case against him was later dropped after the Pakistani government said he was authorised to carry the rounds.
The agent’s lawyer also submitted a copy of a letter from the US embassy showing that he was on a mission and was allowed to carry the ammunition.
So even CIA operatives and undercover Fibbies get into trouble when they try to carry ammo through airports. You have been warned. Oh, and while we’re in Pakistan, remember the US citizen (i.e. CIA assassin) arrested for offing a couple of Pakistan nationals?
US-Pakistan ties have improved markedly since almost collapsing in 2011 amid a series of crises, including the US raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden — which Islamabad branded a violation of sovereignty.
The fatal shooting of two men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in the eastern city of Lahore in January 2011 also sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two “war on terror” allies.
A Pakistani court eventually freed Davis following the payment of USD 2 million in blood money to the families of the dead men.
Unless you’ve got top level CIA clearance and a couple of million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money in your back pocket, check your luggage for rounds before flying and don’t shoot anyone in Pakistan, if you can avoid it. That is all.