Several individuals filming footage for a CNBC documentary series were reportedly arrested this week for attempting to pass through airport security with what appeared to be explosives.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the television crew was at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday when TSA agents identified something inside one bag with “all the markings of an improvised explosive device.”
Reports indicate the individuals told authorities that they were working for the series “Staten Island Hustle,” including one person who had been filming the incident.
The luggage that sparked the security concern reportedly contained a PVC pipe, motor and wires.
One of the crew members detained by TSA agents claimed they were testing “vacuum compression luggage” as part of the stunt.
A production company behind the cable series appeared to corroborate that account in a statement, as reported by ABC News.
“The team was producing an episode about a new product, vacuum compression luggage, which allows travelers more room for clothing and has no other intended use,” wrote Endemol Shine North America. “Unfortunately there appears to have been a misunderstanding, and we regret any inconvenience to TSA and other authorities on the ground for complications that may have been caused.”
Sources cited by ABC News, however, indicated the true intention of the CBNC crew was to test whether airport security would find the suspicious items in the luggage.
As part of the civil penalties the crew members face, they could be fined more than $13,000 per security violation.
[Featured image: Newark Liberty International Airport/Associated Press]