22 satellite phones seized from European tourists in north Bengal
Twenty-two satellite phones were seized from a group of European tourists in northern West Bengal's Jalpiguri district Saturday, a police officer said.
Following a tip off from the army, police raided a hotel at Chalsa in the Dooars forest and got hold of the phones, said Jalpaiguri's Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal.
The group of 50 foreigners - comprising nationals of Belgium, France and Britain - had entered India from Myanmar.
No arrests have been made so far. But police were interrogating the foreigners to ascertain whether they had any ill motive.
"As per Indian laws, satellite phones cannot be used without permission. We conducted the raid after receiving an information from the army that they have intercepted signals from satellite phones in the area," said Agarwal.
The foreigners entered India from Myanmar through the Assam border and then moved in Jalpaiguri.
On being questioned, the Europeans claimed they had come to shoot for a reality show, and were unaware that satellite phones cannot be used in India without permission, said Agarwal.
"The interrogation revealed they had plans to visit Gangtok and Kalimpong. We are trying to verify their statements. We have contacted the respective foreign missions. We are looking into whether they brought the satellite phones for their own use, or had plans to sell them off here," he said.
(Posted on 08-02-2014)