Tue, Sep 11, 2012 | 20:59 BST
Arma 3 devs arrested for ‘spying’ on Greek island, face 20 years if guilty
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.
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.