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Arma 3 devs arrested for ‘spying’ on Greek island, face 20 years if guilty

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:07 GMT By Dave Cook

Arma 3 developers working for Bohemia Interactive have been arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos for allegedly spying on military bases. The developer has confirmed the incident.

UPDATE 2: Bohemia Interactive has told CVG the developers arrested in Greece will be transported to the Greek island of Lesbos for a preliminary trial on suspicion of espionage. ArmA Executive producer Jan Kunt said the duo hasn’t “been charged yet, but the police is giving the court information about what happened.”

Kunt said the studio has had issues with the Mayor of Lemnos, Antonis Hatzidiamantis, before due to the firm using maps which were “publicly available information.”

Hatzidiamantis was upset due to the area containing “NATO’s second-largest army” with Turkey “next door.”

“You can buy it yourselves. The Turkish army can buy it. It’s not military-grade intel. It’s really nothing more than Google Maps,” he said. “There have been developers on Lemnos before taking detailed photographs of things like dirt, fields and fauna. They take photos of lots of flowers and shrubbery and trees to get the environment accurate. I don’t know where they were caught or what they were doing when they were caught.

“I’m not sure the situation will ease out. The Greeks arrested twelve people taking pictures of planes. Seems like the Greeks have lots of problems and want to focus attention elsewhere.”

The plane spotting incident Kunt referenced happened in 2001, when a group of 12 people were found of spying by the Greek court. Eight were found guilty of espionage while the other six were convicted of aiding and abetting the following year, and yeah after that, 13 of the 14 had their convictions overturned.

UPDATE 1: Eurogamer has now reported that the developers have been confirmed as aged 28 and 33, and were indeed detained as they photographed a military installation on the island of Lemnos. They could face 20 years imprisonment if found guilty of espionage charges.

PC Gamer reports that two staff from the Czech studio have been arrested while on researching duties for Arma 3. The game takes place on the island of Lemnos, but both individuals have been charged with claims of espionage for snapping a military base.

The story was covered by several Greek new sites last night, and Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel confirmed the incident on the studio’s official forum.

Spanel stressed he was keen to avoid discussing the matter further, “at least until we know more specific details about the case”, he said.

Thanks again PC Gamer.

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27 Comments

  1. unacomn

    They should have just gone to the military base, thrown some quarters, and they’d have the run of the place.

    *drums*

    *crickets*

    Tough crowd.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. KrazyKraut

    ohh shit…hope they get out of this..

    #2 3 years ago
  3. xxJPRACERxx

    What they were thinking!?!

    #3 3 years ago
  4. zinc

    DO NOT take pictures of Greek military bases. They are aggressively camera-shy.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1697862.stm

    Good luck to the Bohemia staff caught up in this :-(

    #4 3 years ago
  5. The_Red

    20 fucking years!? Are you kidding me? WTF is wrong with Greek army? Yes, I know they should have been more cautious and tried more proper channels but seriously…

    The Plane Spotters tragedy (As zinc posted) was bad enough but 20 years? FUCK Those assholes (Not the great people of Greek. Just the government and military people that made such stupid rules and are so crazy when it comes to cameras). Yes, this comment might sound naive or offensive but really, fuck those assholes that put innocents in jail.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. viralshag

    @5, How do you know they’re not really spies…

    It is harsh but at the end of the day, if two non-nationals are going to rock up and take unauthorised pictures of a military base… you’re kinda asking for someone to either say “what the hell are you doing?” or “catch those terrorists!”

    I’m sure this could have been easily avoided, so I think the stupidity lies more with the two devs.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. dex3108

    @6 Yes but why they sending them in jail? If they prove they are game devs Greek court can confiscate their equipment, tell them to pay and forbid them entering in Greece. 20 years of jail is ridiculous.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. KrazyKraut

    maybe they hold them as hostages…for a better EU-Cash-Package..

    #8 3 years ago
  9. viralshag

    @7, I agree that hard jail time is ridiculous but still, you have to take some precautions. If that happened at a British army base and they let the guys go because they said “hey, we’re not spies, we’re games developers, honest!” I would be a little worried at that.

    It might be an honest mix up but really they are in the wrong here, not Greece.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. The_Red

    @6
    I can understand that part and as I said, the devs should have taken a more cautious route but 20 FREAKING YEARS!?

    ReallY?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. HauntaVirus

    omfh…

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @10
    20 years is the maximum sentence for espionage. Unlikely they will get any where near that if convicted.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. viralshag

    @10, 20 years if they’re found guilty. Hopefully, when proven innocent which I am sure they are, then all this will be water under the bridge.

    I’m sure spying and espionage is taken quite seriously by any country, I would like to hope it is anyway. Either way, I’m sure procedures like an investigation and a court case are necessary regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent, they were caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. End of.

    It’s really not something to go nuts over.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Uncontested

    At my place of employment we call the police and dispatch our Security team if we see people taking pictures of/scoping out our facilities and we’re a TOURIST destination…

    This day and age sneaking around a military installation and taking video/pictures is libel to get you shot and killed. Just the way the world works now.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. LooneyLad

    Just threat them to leave their broke ass without extra financial aid and problem solved.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DSB

    It’s a pretty stupid way to go about it though. I’m sure the Greek armed forces have a press office, why not start there?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. TheWulf

    @9

    Really? Really? I wouldn’t. That’s fucking ridiculous, and borderline scary fascistic. There’s really not much you can tell from outside of a base. So if someone is caught taking pictures and they look like mere civilians, just confiscating their material and giving them a slap on the wrists is perfectly fucking fine in a sane world.

    I’m just glad that you’re not in charge of running the military, anywhere. An uncle on my father’s side is a military man and he’d be disgusted at that kind of thinking. Protecting the country doesn’t mean you need to go police state whenever anyone does something that’s a bit silly.

    I don’t even want to know how 1984 the inside of your head is.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    @17, not only is that a completely OTT response to what was actually said (as per usual I guess), it’s a stupid one too.

    For a start, there’s plenty you can tell from outside of a base such as entrances, exits, building layout, security detail and so on. Secondly, if there isn’t anything you can learn from outside of a base, what would be the point of their research in the first place.

    Lastly, all I have said is this is mostly Greece following procedures. Not exactly fascist, is it?

    #18 3 years ago
  19. manamana

    I really don’t get what they were trying to achieve? Like DSB said, contact the press office and everything will go its way. Maybe they already tried and got rejected, needed the base pictures (for whatever reason) and got the idea of sneaking on to the base. Can’t still not see 20years for them. Oh well, better luck next time.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. UNazo

    It looks like, they forgot to disable the enemy UAV

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Stephany Nunneley

    Another update has been applied to the post.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    I love how everyone is blowing this out of proportion.

    20 years is only the sentence if they’re found guilty of espionage. Which isn’t going to happen. They’ll hold them for a while, find out who they are and why they were there, and be let go with a pretty stern slap on the wrist. That’s it.

    Sneaking around outside a military base without permission is a pretty fucking stupid thing for anyone to do by, no matter what country or decade you’re in.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. viralshag

    @22, you are such a fascist. You make me sick.

    Get out.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. NeoSquall

    C’mon people, this is Greece, not India!
    We can hope the two devs will follow a normal justicial procedure and discharged once it’s confirmed that they’re developers and not turkish spies.

    And kudos to the Mayor of Lemnos, Antonis Hatzidiamantis, for his idiocy in making a fuss because the studio used publicly available maps of the isle for reference.

    If I were Bohemia I’d change the game setting and maybe blow the island to the heavens with a “terrorist nuke”.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Levester

    heh…kunt.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. abcd

    In USA it is illegal to take pictures even inside airports..
    but you all think that it’s ok to take pictures of military bases in other countries and greeks are stupid that arrested them..
    its funny that you dont see who is the real stupid..
    BI were warned about that.. but they didnt need to.. everyone should know that taking pictures of such places is illegal..
    take a camera with you and try to take pictures of a turkish military base.. and then post them here.. dont worry.. if they catch you, tell them “i saw this place in google maps.. it must be legal!”
    also try that in american bases… they propably charge you as a terrorist.. no more human rights.. and go to jail without a trial..
    finally.. there are a lot of signs in Limnos in that places that photographs are prohibited…

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Da Man

    #20 post of the day.

    #27 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]