Weapons meant for Pitt film seized in Hungary

October 11, 2011 - 9:50 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Nearly 100 weapons to be used in Brad Pitt's "World War Z" film were confiscated in Hungary because they had not been properly deactivated, authorities said Tuesday. The weapons included machine guns, rifles and pistols.

The weapons arrived from London to Budapest's Ferenc Liszt Airport on Saturday and were discovered at a nearby duty free zone, Janos Hajdu, head of Hungary's Counterterrorism Center, said. He said he could not confirm they were meant for the film.

"It's possible that all the weapons were brought in for the film, but this would not be allowed by Hungarian law," as the weapons had not been fully deactivated and could easily be used to fire live ammunition, Hajdu said on Neo FM radio. "This is a very complicated case."

Hajdu explained that in Hungary weapons were considered to be deactivated only if the process "was irreversible," while the weapons seized could still be fired even though screws had been used to fill the end of the barrels.

Bela Gajdos, a weapons supervisor for "World War Z," said Mafilm, a Hungarian film company based near Budapest which had the guns brought to Hungary, had the necessary permits, including a detailed list of the weapons in question, issued by local police authorities.

"We had all the permits in order for the weapons to be brought in," Gajdos told The Associated Press by phone. "They were brought in only for this film and are owned by a company in England."

In accordance with British regulations, the weapons were prepared to be used with blank ammunition, Gajdos said, while in Hungary the guns were considered to be "not suitably modified."

Gajdos said he had been questioned by government investigators and that his home in Budapest had been thoroughly searched by security forces before dawn Monday who also confiscated the permits.

Gajdos added that he had not been able to inspect the weapons before the police seized them, but that they would have been checked by him and a Hungarian forensic weapons expert before allowing their use in the film.

Adam Goodman, whose company is providing production services for "World War Z," said he had been advised not to comment on links between the seized weapons and the film.

"We are preparing as planned. We are not changing our schedule," Goodman told the AP. He added that media reports claiming the film set had been raided by police to confiscate the weapons were "not true."