Disneyland Paris: Man arrested carrying two guns

  • 28 January 2016
  • From the section Europe
French police at the New York Hotel, Disneyland Paris Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The New York Hotel is one of several dotted around Disneyland Paris

French police have arrested a man carrying two guns at an entrance to a hotel at Disneyland Paris.

The man, reportedly aged 28 and not known to security services, was also discovered with a copy of the Koran and a box of ammunition, police said.

His bag triggered metal detectors as he entered the New York Hotel at the much-visited theme park.

France remains in a state of emergency declared in November after the deadly attacks by jihadist militants in Paris.

So-called Islamic State (IS) said it carried out the co-ordinated assaults that left 130 people dead.

'Routine screening'

Disneyland Paris closed briefly after the November attacks, but the theme park remained open following Thursday's incident.

"During a routine security screening checkpoint at one of our hotels, weapons were discovered in a guest's luggage through our X-ray machine," spokesman Francois Banon said.

"The police were immediately notified and the individual was arrested. We continue to work closely with the authorities and the safety and security of our guests and cast members is our utmost priority."

"There was loads of security, there were sniffer dogs, which you wouldn't see in any hotel and there was security as well," Ronan Flaherty, who was staying at the premises at the time, told the BBC.

A police source told the AFP news agency that a preliminary investigation did not point to terrorism, and that the man had said he was carrying the weapons because he feared for his safety.

Disneyland Paris

  • First opened in 1992 and located in Marne-la-Vallee, a town about 30km (18 miles) east of Paris.
  • Had about 10 million visitors in 2014 and calls itself the most visited tourist destination in Europe
  • 92% of its guests are from Europe, with 49% from France, 16% from the UK and 9% from Spain.
  • Hosts about 1,000 business events each year
  • In July, the EU began an inquiry into the theme park, following accusations that UK and German customers were frozen out of certain promotions.

Sources: Disneyland Paris, European Commission, Global Attractions Attendance Report

Papers found on the suspect indicated that he lived in Paris, the source added.

He reportedly co-manages a brasserie in the French capital.

"For me, it's a mistake," said a member of the bar staff.

Police also arrested a woman, believing her to be the man's girlfriend, but later released her when they realised they had got the wrong woman, French media reported.

The interior ministry said police were still searching for a woman who might have been with the man, according to the Reuters news agency.

President Francois Hollande is seeking to extend France's three-month state of emergency for another three months, despite opposition from human rights groups.

Earlier this week, European Union policing agency Europol warned that IS was planning further attacks, with France and so-called "soft" targets at particular risk.

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