Cyprus arrests three suspects in 'spy van' investigation

Cyprus arrests three people in connection with an alleged Israeli-owned "spy van" which was seized last month.

Tags: Cyprus
Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Cyprus on Thursday arrested three people in connection with an alleged Israeli-owned "spy van" equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology capable of hacking communications, police said, according to AFP.

The Cypriot suspects, two men and a woman, face 13 charges related to violation of privacy laws, processing private data, falsely obtaining documents and breaking the radio communication law, the report said.

Police said the trio - who work for the company that owns the van – are expected to appear before a court in the southern coastal city of Larnaca on Friday for a detention order.

The alleged “spy van” was seized last month and its Israeli owner was questioned. Forbes later reported that the owner who was interrogated was Colonel Tal Dilian, a former commander of the Military Intelligence Directorate's Technology Unit.

Dillian is the CEO of the Cyprus-registered company WiSpear.

Cypriot Attorney General Costas Clerides said at the time that a criminal law expert was needed due to the "seriousness of the case and the different legal aspects" that are cropping up.

Forbes said multi-million-dollar equipment in the van can monitor electronic devices within a 500-metre radius, hack any phone and listen in on conversations regardless of the level of encryption.

WiSpear denies any wrongdoing and says the van was not used to spy on anybody in Cyprus, noted AFP.

In a statement earlier this month, Dilian lashed out at "amateurish" police for prolonging a "witch-hunt" against him.

He said he was "embedded into a vicious circle of accusations" solely based on an interview given to Forbes which ran a video story about the van and the technology it used.

He refuted there had been any illegal activity and was adamant "the police are aware of this fact which is supported by their own investigation."