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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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    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]