Thursday, December 21, 2017

Granted bail: Israeli ex-armyman caught with satellite phone at Mumbai airport

Mumbai: An Israeli ex-armyman was caught at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport with a satellite phone in his luggage on Tuesday. According to the police, 24-year-old Ido Tsameret was caught at the airport after arriving in Mumbai from Israel on Tuesday morning. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials, during the security check, found an unusual object inside his luggage and searched through it manually. Inside, they found a Magnus satellite phone, a range of emergency search and rescue devices manufactured by the company based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Satellite phones are banned in India after they were found to be used by Pakistani terrorists to contact their handlers during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. In 2012, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security issued a circular to all airports in the country, directing authorities to detain passengers and seize the handsets. After Sahar police station was informed by the CISF, it booked Tsameret under the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act.

On Wednesday, the police filed a chargesheet against Tsameret at the metropolitan magistrate court. Lata Shirsath, senior inspector, Sahar police station, said Tsameret was granted bail by the court on Wednesday. Tsameret arrived in India on a tourist visa after completing compulsory military service at home. His lawyer, advocate Prabhakar Tripathi, said Tsameret was to take a connecting flight to Goa from Mumbai when he was caught.

“He was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India,” said Tripathi. Tsameret is the third foreign national this year to be caught at Mumbai international airport in possession of a satellite phone. Last month, Australian national Michael Carton (58), who works with a natural resources firm, was caught with a satellite phone after landing in Mumbai. He was to go to Indore for a business meeting and told the police he required the phone to communicate from remote areas.
21/12/17 Srinath Rao/Indian Express