4 Filipinos arrested in Odisha’s Ganjam district for using banned satellite phone

BERHAMPUR,Oct24: At least four Filipinos were arrested by Aryapalli Marine Police in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Sunday for using a banned satellite phone.

They are Bautista Jesceltone Bactad, Eduarfos Gruspe, Librafo P Jemina and Nathaneil A Fajs of Philippines. They had come to Gopalpur Port in a cargo vessel – MV Fortune – last week to take minerals to Japan.

On Saturday evening, they were using a Thuraya satellite communication set on board, to talk to their families about the possible cyclone developing in the sea. Coast Guard officials saw them using the satellite phone and informed the police.

Several calls were made from the banned satellite phone which has been frequently used by terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir. The phone was used during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, police sources said.

The Filipinos had not declared the presence of the 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.

Use of Thuraya satellite phones is banned in Indian territorial waters under section 6 of Indian Wireless Act and section 20 of Indian Telegraph Act.

The four crew members were produced in the SDJM court at Chhatrapur and remanded in judicial custody.