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> BIS developers arrested for alleged espionage in Greece, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar taken into custody
JdB
post Sep 17 2012, 16:43
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QUOTE(Elliot Carver @ Sep 17 2012, 12:35) *
If they "took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do." why were they singled out to be arrested? For local coppers to arrest two random tourists and charge them with the capital offense of espionage they must have done something to warrant the charge?


From BIS forums: 'The arrest took place on September 9th near their hotel'.

If they had been caught red-handed, I doubt the military police (who I assume would be guarding such high level installations) would let them go to hand the matter over to local cops to make the arrest, since if they really were thought of as spies they could have transfered the data over to their handler and the data would be out of the country in no time. The mayor of Lemnos wasn't happy, not in the least that he couldn't do much if anything about the portrayal of the island in the game so now they try to play poker by trying to bluf BIS into giving up the idea 'or else'.

This post has been edited by JdB: Sep 17 2012, 16:56


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D@V
post Sep 17 2012, 17:56
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QUOTE(Elliot Carver @ Sep 17 2012, 11:35) *
Its good to get some fresh news on the situation out there (posted on .info news site) but i have a question. If they "took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do." why were they singled out to be arrested? For local coppers to arrest two random tourists and charge them with the capital offense of espionage they must have done something to warrant the charge? A simple google search brings up plenty of snaps of Lemnos airport? Im not questioning BISs statement, im questioning the Greek authorities decision to press charges and the reasoning behind it.

From what I gather, BIS had previously asked permission from the Greek army to take photos within restricted areas (as in, offically visiting one of the bases) and were refused, hence why they've been singled out.


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pMASTER
post Sep 17 2012, 18:22
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QUOTE(D@V @ Sep 17 2012, 18:56) *
From what I gather, BIS had previously asked permission from the Greek army to take photos within restricted areas (as in, offically visiting one of the bases) and were refused, hence why they've been singled out.
Well, that sucks. No offence @ BIS though that almost sounds as if they'd been asking for it.
With that being said, still a massive overreaction for Greece's part.


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Old Bear
post Sep 17 2012, 20:01
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Have a look at the statement from Ota Vrtatko

QUOTE
They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do. These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It's very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk.


A quick search on YouTube will give you a nice collections of views of the military base :

- SuperPuma landing on Limnos : (simulating 1 motor failure), nice view of airport

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkxmBWrJ1I0

- Dash_Q8-400 Limnos-Athens flyght (have a look on 2 first minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rY5weEsLlo

- Cesna Caravan landing on Limnos : (have a look on 2 last minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__T4v2i50JA

For me it look just like they have been framed by some local official ... and of course asking for a ransom is an international sport.


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post Sep 17 2012, 21:37
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QUOTE(pMASTER @ Sep 17 2012, 18:22) *
Well, that sucks. No offence @ BIS though that almost sounds as if they'd been asking for it.

How so? It's not uncommon for game devs (or any media folk) to try to get permission to visit military facilities for research. It's actually rather common practice, in fact.

As JdB's already said, if they were just waltzing into bases after being told they couldn't, they'd be detained by MPs. I don't know how competent the greek army is, but I don't think they wouldn't notice a bunch of East Europeans wandering around with cameras taking pictures of their bombs tongue.gif


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pMASTER
post Sep 18 2012, 05:46
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You said they were denied a permission and took pictures anyway?


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fX8
post Sep 18 2012, 05:57
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QUOTE(Old Bear @ Sep 17 2012, 20:01) *
Have a look at the statement from Ota Vrtatko
A quick search on YouTube will give you a nice collections of views of the military base :

- SuperPuma landing on Limnos : (simulating 1 motor failure), nice view of airport

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkxmBWrJ1I0

- Dash_Q8-400 Limnos-Athens flyght (have a look on 2 first minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rY5weEsLlo

- Cesna Caravan landing on Limnos : (have a look on 2 last minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__T4v2i50JA

For me it look just like they have been framed by some local official ... and of course asking for a ransom is an international sport.



I'm sure that devs are not guilty. Greeks just have their own reason to do that.


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Elliot Carver
post Sep 18 2012, 09:10
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Operation Prison Bailout

Briefing:
Buchta and Pezlar are currently held in a Police station in the seaside town of Mytilene on Lesvos an adjacent island to Lemnos. Devs to be recovered from Police custody and extracted back to the Checz Republic. Mission start 00:00 GMT 19th Sept 2012

.info Team makes way to Athens Inl' and boards flight Aegean Airlines #252 to Mytilene Departing 09:00.
09:50 #252 lands on Lesvos at Mytilene Airport. Team hires 2 cars from 'lesvoscarhire' at their airport hub.
Leaving one car near Mytilene police station the team continues on to an apartment at the'Hotel Votsala' 15mins North of Mytilene.

Plan:
Using a high profile distraction the team will hit the police station, remove the Devs and make west for the coast.
15:30 the team splits into two.

Team 2 dropping team 1 in Mytilene leaves for Mytilene Municipal district offices of the mayor in the car and delivers a viable suspect package. They call it in to Lesvos police who react en mass. Team 2 moves south along the coast to the airport where they set a fire that blankets the approach to the airport.


Mytilene police station, Lesvos.

Team 1 mean while makes its way to the police station. As the police react to the serious, seemingly terrorist, threat Team 1 enters the disorientated station and in the confusion, recovers Buchta and Pezlar. Exiting the police station they board the first car they left that morning.

Both teams head to the west coast of the island to Plomari where under the cover of darkness they steal a rib from the marina and slip off shore. They make for the Turkish coast and by midday on the 20th they walk into the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ankara, successful.

Mission complete cool.gif

NOTE: For any jobsworth Greek 5-0 or reporter this is f*cking fictitious you moronic hypochondriac ... anyway it was JdB's idea! blues.gif


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post Sep 18 2012, 12:16
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QUOTE(pMASTER @ Sep 18 2012, 05:46) *
You said they were denied a permission and took pictures anyway?

I don't actually know the full details of what they asked permission for, but like other folk have said, they weren't there to take pictures, they were there on holiday. It's not like the island isn't some kind of tourist attraction!

...I need to think of a suitable punishment for Carver calling the Fuzz "5-0", like some bloody yank tongue.gif


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QUOTE(Major Mike Shearer)
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JdB
post Sep 18 2012, 14:25
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I wouldn't prefer to fly into Greece itself, rather fly to Bulgaria and then via boat insertion into Lemnos. If all else fails (and Bulgaria being close to Turkey does make it complicated) fly to Bari or Taranto on the east coast of Italy instead and travel on a commerical freighter bound for Cyprus, transfer to a smaller craft when past the Greek mainland. A much longer route but also safer because most of Greece's coast guard assetts will be focused on keeping out North African immigrants and Turkish spies in other areas.


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Daniel
post Sep 18 2012, 16:48
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Can't we just fly to Lemnos and come up with a plan in the nearest Irish pub?


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Elliot Carver
post Sep 18 2012, 21:20
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lol well i was running off the time frame that the two Devs would probably be moved to a central court location by the end of the week possibly on the mainland vastly complicating an extraction. So any action had to take place in the next 2 - 3 days. Given vastly more time id probably go for a co-ordinated weaponized Tesla EMP attack on strategic defensive targets across the Greek mainland. Same distraction technique but on a much larger, fun scale.

edit: Im with Dan ... http://youtu.be/KGlnATyken8 Wonder if she'll be in A3?


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JdB
post Sep 18 2012, 21:37
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QUOTE(Elliot Carver @ Sep 18 2012, 22:20) *
lol well i was running off the time frame that the two Devs would probably be moved to a central court location by the end of the week possibly on the mainland vastly complicating an extraction. So any action had to take place in the next 2 - 3 days.


This is Greece we're talking about here, not some functioning state full of hard working people ... tiredsmiley.gif


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Elliot Carver
post Sep 18 2012, 22:11
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ROFL!

I did my background research! smile.gif
Summer 2001 12 plane spotters were nicked in Greece on the same charge. The group were told they could leave prison provided they paid bail of around 9,000 each but they'd still face a lesser misdemeanor charge of illegal information collection. In the end they were found guilty and given suspended prison sentences of between 1 - 3 years. They were initially held at local police stations before being transfered within the week to a prison where they were held for 5 weeks before posting bail to go home.

I was board this morning ... does it show? unsure.gif


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Old Bear
post Sep 19 2012, 06:43
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Here some sources for the "British spies" story ... I must add that there was 2 guys from the Lowlands in the group which was probably an aggravating circumstance ... naughty.gif

2001: Greece holds plane-spotting 'spies'
Torment ends for plane spotters as Greek court clears them

What is the most interesting in the case of our Czech friends is that from the start the local authorities has declared to media that they have been seized red handed in the act of trespassing a military area and making a lot of military installations in purpose. What seems to emerge is that they have been arrested by police at their hotel and the "sensible informations" gathered by the so called spy are 14 frames from a video shot on the way from airport showing military installations in the background.

@JdB : there are a lot of hard working people in Greece.


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Elliot Carver
post Sep 19 2012, 22:24
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Two guys acting suspiciously, get stopped. A camera check revelas questionable content, they get arrested. Its a spontaneous random act of police work. For the police to arrest the Devs at the hotel they would have to have known previous to the arrest that there was questionable content on the camera and also have known where the Devs were staying. It suggests they were under surveillance.


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pMASTER
post Nov 16 2012, 20:22
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I just heard in the news that Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta remain in custody. Greece prosecutors said they'd "warn anybody not to take the charges lightly", adding the duo faces 5 to 20 years in prison. It appears as though they're really afraid the Turks an unnamed enemy could use ArmA 3 to prepare for an invasion of this tiny Island in the Aegean.


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Elliot Carver
post Jan 15 2013, 18:47
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QUOTE
Two guys acting suspiciously, get stopped. A camera check revelas questionable content, they get arrested. Its a spontaneous random act of police work. For the police to arrest the Devs at the hotel they would have to have known previous to the arrest that there was questionable content on the camera and also have known where the Devs were staying. It suggests they were under surveillance.
Carver - Sep 19 2012, 21:24

kathimerini.gr - Dec 13th 2012
QUOTE
On December 13, an article was published on kathimerini.gr – a highly respectable newspaper in greece.The article is particularly interesting as it shows the involvement of the Greek secret service in the case. Here is the full translation.
*Espionage and a video game in military camps on Lemnos*

Every day there are new episodes of the thriller of two Czechs Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar who were charged with espionage on Lemnos. Both men aged 28 and 33 were arrested on 9 September by police officers from the Myrina police district and have been since detained in a jail on Chios. They have been charged with espionage because they were photographing military objects on the island [of Lemnos]. Both men oppose the charge and claim that they are employees of Bohemia Interactive, the makers of a computer game ARMA 3 that takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios.

According to information Kathimerini the move to arrest the men has begun after 3rd headquarters of counterintelligence EYP (National Intelligence Service) sent a bulletin to the local authorities, also included in the court files, notifying them in detail about the arrival of the two Czechs, where they will be staying and when they plan to leave. It also alerted them to the fact that both foreign citizens intent to photograph military objects on the island. From the point of their arrival until their arrest 6 days later both Czechs were monitored by a team from EYP. In the end they were arrested by police officers from the Myrina district who also confiscated their cameras, one notebook, external hard drives and other electronic devices. Both men claimed they went to Lemnos on holiday after spending two years of intensive work on an Internet game – [military] simulator ARMA 3. The said game takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios and depicts a conflict between the militaries of NATO and Iran.

The court file indicates there are 14 photographs incriminating the two Czechs. “It is 7 photographs and 7 frames from a video which show military objects on the island,” told [Kathimerini] the attorney of the two men Mr. Panagiotis Eleftheriou. Even though photography of military objects without permissions is a misdemeanor, the investigator and procurator begun prosecuting the arrested men for the crime of espionage.

According to our information several days after their arrest the headquarters of EYP sent Czech intelligence service a request for detailed information about the identity and employment positions of the two arrested. Instead of a reply, the chief of Czech intelligence service visited Greece to meet his Greek counterpart Theodoros Dravillas.

According to court files of the case the arrested had special electronic devices, a fact that (according to the procurator and investigator) refutes their claim that they were to Greece on holiday. Another aggravating circumstance is said to be the fact that the owner of Bohemia Interactive, a company where both men are employed, owns shares in another company that makes computer simulations for military training. The said entrepreneur was summoned by court and deposited a witness statement in the case. Also, it seems that a proof has surfaced that both Czechs sent photographs daily to an unknown person using their computer. This information is is refuted by their attorney.

*A website*


Turns out we nailed it perfectly. Greek intelligence was on them from the moment they took off for their holiday. EYP outsmarted by arma.info thumbsup.gif


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JdB
post Jan 15 2013, 18:54
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QUOTE(Elliot Carver @ Jan 15 2013, 18:47) *
Turns out we nailed it perfectly. Greek intelligence was on them from the moment they took off for their holiday. EYP outsmarted by arma.info thumbsup.gif


No need to blow our own horn, it's long been know that we regularly outperform "intelligence" agencies happy.gif


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pMASTER
post Jan 22 2013, 18:47
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Oh boy. If I were BIS I'd now announce a DLC with Turkish-themed addons...


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