A US policeman on his way to Mount Everest was arrested in Nepal for possessing bullets which he claimed to have inadvertently carried in his hand luggage from Washington, police said Monday.
Leonard John David Rubin, 39, was arrested on Saturday at Kathmandu Airport while checking in for an internal flight to Lukla near Everest base camp, police official Abhi Kafle told AFP.
“He was carrying seven rounds of bullets and a magazine,” Kafle said.
Kafle said Rubin told officials he had forgotten to remove the items from his hand luggage before departing from the United States to Nepal on a visit to offer safety training to Sherpa guides.
“He told us that he didn’t check the side pockets of his black bag. And that’s how he carried the bullets and the magazine,” Kafle said.
Rubin, part of a US team visiting Nepal to conduct training, arrived in Kathmandu Thursday, is currently in police custody near the airport.
Kafle said authorities were preparing to charge him with violating the Public Offence Act, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a 10,000 rupee ($101) fine.
An American embassy spokesman told AFP that Rubin was a US citizen, but declined further comment.
An aerial view the Mount Everest range some 140 km (87 miles) northeast of Kathmandu on January 14, 2011
[Image via Agence France-Presse]