“Heather acknowledged that she and her husband, who could not accompany them because of some respiratory problems, possess handguns and other firearms back home. She said they carry the firearms while travelling within US like other residents and unknowingly brought these bullets to India,” an official said.
“We travel regularly and the cartridges were in our travel bag and we brought them to India by mistake. There is thus no question of carrying any documents linked to them,” she said.
US citizens are allowed to carry firearms with permits in their registered baggage in domestic flights, the police said.
In India, too, firearms can be carried as registered baggage but the licence has to be produced at the airport.
But the officials said they could not figure out how international airports and the Delhi airport the two had passed through earlier missed the ammunition if the Bonds’ version was true.
The Bonds boarded a flight from Los Angeles, switched at Taipei and landed in Delhi on March 24.
“They toured north India and returned to Delhi. About a week ago, they reached Bagdogra by flight from Delhi and went to Darjeeling. They were returning to Delhi today,” the district police chief said.
Officials from various intelligence agencies have reached the centre to garner more information.
“Apparently, there is no problem with their visas and passports. The ammunition also seems to be of US-make. In case their statements are true, it is strange that they travelled through prominent international and national airports without being detected even once,” an official said.
“We are also checking whether the US-made ammunition was procured in Darjeeling,” the official added.