Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhadrak, Jun 25:
Four foreigners were arrested by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) yesterday for allegedly using satellite phone to send secret messages and photos to other countries from Dhamra port in Odisha’s Bhadrak district. The arrested persons, all belonging to Philippines and members of a Panama-based vessel, have been identified as Alajandro Cangellet, Ruel Kalimoso, Roadger Domatikan and Kausul Ramil.
The four have been forwarded to JMFC court here, sources said.
Notably, they were tracked by Coast Guard on June 16 when the four were on their way to the port. They were reportedly involved in sending secret information to Malaysia and Philippines via satellite phone, which is prohibited at the port.
The vessel, named MV Frontier Triumph, was found using an undeclared and camouflaged ‘Thuraya’ satellite communication set in Indian waters, following which four of the 23 crew members, including the ship’s master Alajandro were arrested, a statement said.
The Threat Management System (TMS) at Kolkata picked up unauthorised transmission on June 9. The geographical location of the source of transmissions was identified and the Indian Coast Guard Ships Amogh and Sarojini Naidu based at Paradip were diverted to investigate. Frontier Triumph was found anchored at the location and the investigating team found on board banned ‘Thuraya’ satellite communication set.
Usage of Thuraya satellite phones is banned in Indian territorial waters under Section 6 of the Indian Wireless Act and Section 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act.
“Thuraya phones have frequently been used by anti-India terror groups for their activities in Jammu and Kashmir — even the attackers in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack used the same,” the ICG said.
“These phones were banned in India a few years back. What makes them the equipment of preferred choice of terrorists is that they are extremely difficult to be tracked real-time. Besides, getting the call records is another problem area as it would not be easy to find out which country’s satellite are the phones linked to and the servers of the company are located in the UAE,” the ICG said.
“Alajandro, the master of the Panama based vessel Frontier Triumph, had not declared the presence of the ‘Thuraya’ set in the Pre Arrival Notification System (PANS) of the vessel, a mandatory declaration for all boats and ships that intend to enter Indian waters,” the statement said.
The ship was then detained off Dhamra port in Odisha, and an FIR was lodged.
Following the incident, the four were detained by police for questioning after seizure of their passport, visa and the satellite phone. The call record of the satellite phone was also examined. A team of Central Intelligence Bureau and State CID are probing into the matter.
“A case was lodged against the four on June 20. After investigation, they were booked under various sections of IPC and minor acts. The four were crew of the ship and have been forwarded to court,” said Tarunkanti Das, SDPO, Chandbali. (With inputs from IANS)