The company that owns an alleged ‘spy van’ seized by Cyprus police on Saturday has denied breaking the law and said it was confident that the allegations against it will be dismissed.
“Ws Wispear rejects all accusations made in the Cypriot press and is confident that these allegations/claims will be very shortly dismissed. The company has at all times respected and complied with the laws of the Republic,” it said in an announcement issued through its lawyers Pelecanos & Pelecanou LLC.
Police yesterday seized the van, equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment capable of hacking communications and questioned its Israeli owner.
Police began investigating after the opposition party Akel asked what the government was doing about activities undertaken in the van, which was showcased in a Forbes video story broadcast several months ago that recently went viral in Cyprus.
Police chief Kypros Michaelides told private radio station Astra that the Israeli owner had given “some explanations,” but he would be questioned further, along with Cypriot nationals.
Forbes had named the owner of the van as ex-Israeli intelligence officer Tal Dilian, who allegedly heads a Cyprus-registered company that owns the vehicle.
Tal Dilian, described by Forbes as a multi-millionaire former Israeli secret agent, who works privately and provides espionage services to governments, states and various companies, had told journalists that the tools he uses are able to monitor cell phones and other electronic devices within a range of 500 metres. His surveillance system reportedly specializes in the interception of audio conversations, written texts and other data such as WhatsApp messages, Facebook chats, SMS texts, calls, contacts etc.
Police searched a company premises where the van was located in Larnaca after securing warrants. “On preliminary examination, the vehicle was found to have electronic equipment and was confiscated, along with other evidence,” a police statement said on Saturday.
“In a subsequent investigation at the company’s offices, further evidence was found, which will be subject to scientific examination,” it added.
Police said they were investigating possible violations of the protection of privacy law.