Devices & Diagnostics

St. Jude CEO arrested in India after ammunition found in airport search

St. Jude Medical’s (NYSE:STJ) chief executive officer was arrested in India on Wednesday after authorities at the Delhi airport found a single live round tucked into a knee pocket of his cargo pants, according to media reports. Daniel Starks was in India on business and was about to take a chartered flight from the Indira […]

St. Jude Medical’s (NYSE:STJ) chief executive officer was arrested in India on Wednesday after authorities at the Delhi airport found a single live round tucked into a knee pocket of his cargo pants, according to media reports.

Daniel Starks was in India on business and was about to take a chartered flight from the Indira Gandhi International Airport to Dharamsala. But he was stopped by India’s Central Industrial Security Force in the airport’s VIP lounge. Authorities found a 45-caliber shell in his pants. Such a caliber is most often associated with a handgun.

Starks showed authorities his American gun license. But since that’s not valid outside the United States, Starks was arrested, taken to court and then sent to “one day judicial custody,” a deputy police commissioner told The Indian Express. Starks could not explain why he was carrying the ammunition, the Express stated.

There was nothing about the arrest of Starks on St. Jude’s Web site. But Reuters cited the company as saying Starks “inadvertently” left the shell in his clothes and that he was cooperating fully with authorities.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

It’s hard to read into India’s gun laws. But according to Chapters 4 and 5 of the Indian Arms Act, covertly transporting ammunition is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Other similar offenses carry punishments of up to a year.

It would be shocking if Starks got such a sentence. His true punishment is the ignominy of doing something usually associated in the United States not with med-tech CEOs but instead with bone-headed professional athletes.

Starks arrived in India on Feb. 19, according to one media report, and he was carrying a multiple entry visa. He was in Malaysia more than a week ago to celebrate the opening of a new manufacturing facility there. More than half of St. Jude’s revenue comes from outside the United States.