Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhadrak, Jun 25:
A local court in Odisha today granted bail to the four Filipinos who were arrested by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for allegedly using satellite phone to send secret messages and photos to other countries from Dhamra port.
Hearing the bail plea, Chandbali JMFC court granted them bail, which had earlier rejected their application.
The accused 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.
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.
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.
It may be mentioned here that use 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.
The Panama-based vessel Frontier Triumph was then detained off Dhamra port in Odisha, and an FIR was lodged on June 20 as it 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.
Following the incident, the four were detained by police for questioning after seizure of their passport, visa and the satellite phone.