Three Italians were detained in Mumbai and Pune this morning after 26 cartridges were found from a room in a five star hotel in the city where they were staying, the police said.
Twenty-four live cartridges and two empty magazines of Italian make were recovered from Room No 448 of Radisson Hotel located near Indira Gandhi International airport by the hotel staff on the evening of May 24.
The trio -- Giovanni Ceccomello, Donato Dngello and Giulion Tometto -- were detained at Pune and Mumbai airports this morning, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said.
The Italians, working with petrochemical company Petronas, had checked into three rooms in the hotel on May 24 and left after seven hours, he said.
"Cartridges were recovered after 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.
There were 24 live cartridges, two empty magazines and two springs. The magazines were dismantled, he said.
Soon after, the police was informed and a case was registered under Section 25 of 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," the official said on Thursday.
Asked whether there was any oversight on part of the hotel staff, Dhaliwal said it appears so. However, they immediately informed police after 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.