Cyprus Mail

Police confiscate ‘spy van’

Police early on Saturday confiscated a van with high-tech surveillance equipment after its owner boasted to media it could intercept communications within a one-kilometre radius.

The probe was launched after local media picked up an article by Forbes magazine this week published in August on a high-tech surveillance vehicle in Larnaca that can intercept WhatsApp messages, Facebook chats, calls and all the contents of a smartphone.

News of the existence of such a vehicle prompted main opposition Akel on Friday to enquire how and why such a vehicle was present in Cyprus and whether it had been inspected at customs.

Police on Friday went to check the van and its equipment, which is property of an Israeli ex-intelligence officer, who, the government said, operates in Cyprus through a registered company that has Cypriot shareholders.

The vehicle was confiscated and reportedly taken to the police headquarters.

The government said on Friday that some of the equipment advertised in the report is imported in Cyprus in accordance with the customs and consumption tax law but that police were investigating the case.


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