Greek police, Czech embassy detail Arma dev arrests

Police force in Greece confirms Bohemia Interactive pair charged with espionage, will be taken to court; embassy in Athens "closely" tracking the case.

by

The Greek police and the Czech embassy in Greece have released statements on the two Bohemia Interactive developers arrested for spying on the Greek island of Lemnos earlier this week.

If this is an Arma III marketing ploy, it's certainly gone far.

The Greek police detailed the events surrounding the pair's arrest, saying officers in the police station of Myrina took the two into custody at around noon on September 9. The Czech nationals, 28 and 33 years old, are both charged with espionage. Their names have not been released.

An investigation conducted by the police officers found that the Bohemia Interactive developers were in possession of various audio-visual material with footage from military facilities in Lemnos and the area around it. Upon arrest, the pair reportedly told officers that they were conducting research for Bohemia Interactive's upcoming military shooter Arma III. This material has been seized, while the developers will be taken to the Court of the First Instance in Mytilini.

A statement from the Czech Republic embassy in Athens, Greece confirms that it is "closely following the case," and indicates that the arrested Bohemia Interactive staffers have met with their defense lawyer. The embassy declined to share further information, so as to "avoid any further misunderstanding."

Yesterday, Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel called the situation an "unfortunate misunderstanding." He said the pair were visiting the island of Lemnos "with the sole purpose of experiencing the island's beautiful surroundings."

"Since its establishment in 1999, Bohemia Interactive has created games based only upon publicly available information," Spanel said at the time. "We always respect the law and we've never instructed anybody to violate the laws of any country. The same is true for Arma III."

Discussion

0 comments
simon1812
simon1812

historically, spies come in all shape and sizes, from prostitutes to archeologist history has seen everything in that matter, what I mean to say is, if I was to take the security of my country seriously, the idea of videogame developers doing actual spy work isnt all as farfetched as most ppl would like to make it seem.

JOHNQ25
JOHNQ25

only pretenders i see in this "conversation" and people who either have no real responsibility of what they say or they have a rather "toxic" purpose, like making children's fun with history, geopolitical data and concept of democracy as a definition. 1st of all, democracy has already a definition since 400BC. We will not reinvent the Wheel because you don't seem to understand that it says nowhere that a democratic nation has to accept, allow or promote any form of foreing or domestic internal action without LEGAL AUTHORITY THAT IT IS VOTED FROM THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE (Reminds you something of your constitution?) So, We, in Hellas, VOTED our constitution that NO PERSON CAN TAKE MEDIA DATA IN ANY FORM WITHOUT PERMISSION from State Military Areas. I Believe that 99% of all Democratic and Not Democratic countries have the same rule -logically- unless someone in here thinks that we live in a nice quite planet that everybody is happy with each other. (This goes to our friend that asks why such laws exist). Now, Historical correction. we have no "Feud" with Cyprus cause we are practically of the same nationality (Hellines Orthodox) just they got under English occupation from 1878 until 1960... and when they were independent they created their own state WHICH was invaded by Turkey at 1974... so spare us your time please. Now, since we are talking about Bohemia I think that everyone knows how and why the 1st ARMA was created... I bet that there is still among you someone who wants to say something funny or clever just to brake the seriousness of someone infiltrating a foreign base JUST TO FOTO THINGS... Put things where they should stand in reality, not in your head. Thank you for your time.    

worlock77
worlock77

Should have gotten the proper permits.

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

and the same hapenig in US under the same circunstances is not far fetched. It's likely.

darthfodder
darthfodder

Somebody please explain why the laws that make what they did illegal exist, because I honestly don't get it. I think that laws like this have absolutely NO place in ANY democratic society. What makes the Greece government so paranoid? 

 

Also, saying that the same thing would have happened in the US seems far fetched and, in any case, is not a defense.

seraguei_gos
seraguei_gos

Laws in a democratic society must be applied for everyone, including stupid game developers. 

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

This is all easily explained.

 

They probably thought they were at a World War 1 museum.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

Stupidity is truly infinite. As a Greek, I'm really offended by most people in here, not because of what they say, but because they have absolutely no experience of anything that has to do with Greece, and can't find the country on the world map if you tell them to.

 

Yes, I think this is far-fetched. But, there is a simple, completely logical law: no photos, videos or anything of our military installations WITHOUT PERMISSION. You know what they could have done? Ask for damn permission, but no no, they had to do it in secret, and they did it. Now that they're caught, because apparently they didn't have a sign hanging from their necks saying "I'm a game dev", it's our fault that they didn't bother going with the laws, right? We're absolutely to blame for such an absurd law; after all, everyone should be able to sneak into military bases and photograph them, because what harm can that cause, eh? It's good to know we're the only country that has this law... oh wait, it's widely applied.

 

Plus, regarding our economy. Yes, it's bad. In fact, I'm using a bicycle to feed electricity into my router and laptop, so I can write comments here. I'm sure the media have said that too, at some point. I never understood why Greece is always the black sheep, when many European countries are in the same condition. Moreover, I couldn't understand the need to call an entire country's population whatever shit you call us, because of corrupt politicians. You know, the ones that made those other European countries get into our position. It's sad to see this situation in every conversation involving Greece. The media's brainwashing is going as planned out there, as it seems.

Apastron
Apastron

A few years ago seem British plane spotters were held for something like a year simply for looking at planes.  Goodness knows what will happen to these two.

 

It's a shame Greece can't keep an eye on their finances with the same resources as they seem to commit to people donning binoculars.

fuzzier
fuzzier

Great PR for the game getting arrested at those accusations, instead of calling them stupid I would say smart

zaxafreon
zaxafreon

Im sure if they asked permission, they would of gotten it. But no that would be to easy, bunch of idiots

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I hope the whole issue clear up and ARMA III be a better game for it. :)

diabolik_023
diabolik_023

ha , ha... they will be shot and if any survive... they will be shot again =))

division_9
division_9

So this is what Greek politicians do to gather support?, putting game developers on trial and mislabel them as Turkish 007's?.

Theoloc
Theoloc

God, so much racist comments and hate! Seriously you people need to redirect your hateful sentiments over something else, instead of slandering a whole country. Cut the propaganda and focus to a game commentary, or simply visit a psychiatrist to let off some steam.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Greece needs to protect their vast military power from being spied upon by developers and potentially world-ending intel landing in the wrong hands!

 

Or... Maybe Greece has just ONE military facility, which would explain why they're so serious about protecting it (Seeing as the police protect the military, think about that for a second...).

 

In any case, I hope the guys manage to get out of this pickle, things can get pretty bad if it's not handled well.

hystavito
hystavito

You know the first thing that popped into my head, if this had happened in the US, imagine the kind of comments we'd probably be seeing, just a thought :).  Im Canadian BTW.

PDXmauler97
PDXmauler97

Hahahaha, I'm surprised this hasn't happened before. Really though, they couldn't just make up what a Greece military compound looks like? Its just a warehouse and some planes. Did they really need to sneak in and take pictures?

The__Kraken
The__Kraken

I would like to know the exact laws that were broken. I would also like to know exactly how what ever it was that the Bohemia Interactive staffers were doing constitues "espionage."

 

Regardless, based on what Greece has done in the past as well as the little information available, this seems like an overreaction.

nameaprice
nameaprice

Greece is probly just looking for a way to extort money from this games dev. to help with their CRAP economy!

Archutch
Archutch

Greece must be worried that they picked up a side quest on the way there :D

hadlee73
hadlee73

They wouldn't have been busted if Christopher Walken had been with them. He would've told them the ideal place to hide the evidence.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

and just reading the comments, Games + politics + uneducated people = Lots of stupidity, hate and a damn good show lol

darthfodder
darthfodder

 @JOHNQ25 I should have used the words "modern and civilized" rather than democratic. Most people probably believe that a military has a right to secrets. Unless said military is at war, I disagree, but I see where the other side is coming from.  Also, I should clarify my position. It's not that I think laws against espionage are crazy, I just think that calling what these people did espionage is kind of crazy, and the idea that they could get as much as 10 years in prison for it is even crazier. You call it espionage, I call it ignorant tourism. The most they should possibly get is confiscation of the equipment used to take the photos and maybe a fine. If they were government employees, it might be a different story. Any prison time for this seems excessive.

 

Another factor is whether or not the area was clearly labeled with "no pictures without permission" or something of the sort. If there was no sign saying that, they should face no penalty whatsoever.

 

smitherean
smitherean

 @darthfodder Laws that prohibit spying on army bases have no place in democratic society? Now I've heard everything...

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

 @darthfodder

 right. so arresting someone that shows increased interest in your military instations is stupid?  if they wanted research pics for Arma3 they should have asked permission. If you dont know European history maybe you shouldnt  talk. Grecce has a territorial feud with Cyprus over a few islands for over a century.

 

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @fuzzier You can't be serious about that comment, right?? 

 

'No!', it's not fucking smart and nor is it a nice lil' clever PR move....in case you don't know: Greece doesn't have a very easy legal/criminal system for foreigners to weave their way through. And guess what, it's going to trial now--wow, the legal hell-ride has only begun for these dudes. These guys would be lucky if they got outta of this w/o jail time.

 

Great PR for the game, I guess. But it's not gonna be nothing compared to the legal turmoil these guys are gonna be subjected to.....

DespVand
DespVand

 @diabolik_023 We don't have capital punishment in greece in times of peace. life in prison is the harshest and they won't get that... more like 10 years max. 

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @Theoloc Racist? I suggest you look that word up. All I see here is (sometimes misinformed) commentary on Greek politics, and occasional comparisons. Also, "Greek" isn't in itself a race. Just sayin'...

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

 @Daemoroth its called civilian authority... its the same rules that america has.  when someone firebombs a recruitment office we dont send jsoc after them ok?

kaillyna1654
kaillyna1654

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shado_kat
shado_kat

 @nameaprice Id love to hear about your travels around Greece sometime and your indepth study of the the financial crisis currently occurring there. Sounds like it would be very insighful

Theoloc
Theoloc

 @parrot_of_adun From my whole post, was this the thing you preferred to comment? Really? And that with an apparent irony and bitterness? Most of the comments don't have to do with the game at all, as people seem to prefer slander and critique versus Greece. And now you come up as the "clever" one to point out the proper use of words?Let me be plain. It is inexcusable for anyone to judge a country by a mere incident, let alone its people. It is highly inappropriate, insulting and truly uncivilized. Personally, I am tired of people that prefer to use Greece as a scapegoat to the whole economic deficit, turning a blind eye at the true nature of this crisis.And instead of commenting on the upcoming game, you preferred to "link" this incident with how low and uneducated I am.Bravo! Such skill! 

russell_1
russell_1

 @shado_kat  Are you going to dispute the fact that the Greek economy is in the shitter? Didn't think so.

kaillyna1654
kaillyna1654

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Verropoulos
Verropoulos

@ck10304 @DespVand @diabolik_023 i meant read carefully what i said to you in order to avoid misunderstanding. The whole think and people should not blame the authorities for arresting them because they only did their job. Im sure they are not spies but since believe it or not there have been many spying confirmed incidents in that area mostly between them and turkey its only natural that the authorities would want ro be thorough. Even though the chance of those men being guilty is extremely thin the law dictates that all precutions and nesescary searching is done. Thats all. Im sure the same rules apply to all countries that have restrictionslike this. Even the authorities know they are not spies but because of past event they have to investigate, its their job and after all you never know for sure about something till you fully investigate it.

ck10304
ck10304

 @Verropoulos  @DespVand  @diabolik_023 You make some good points, but I never read your original comment so reading "carefully" what you said has no meaning to me.You are of course right, it comes down to what they were actually physically doing which no one except them and the police actually know. If they were sneaking around, hiding, trying to avoid detection with the express purpose of photographing the base (supposedly for nefarious purposes) then sure that's reason to be suspicious and investigate them further. If on the other hand they were on the island for other purposes and maybe visited out of curiosity, and took a few harmless photos in the open for kicks then confiscate the stuff and send them on their way. The thing most lacking here and indeed in most judicial systems is common sense; the developers, most people on this website, and most likely the Greek authorities, are pretty confident that they aren't spies, but we still have to go through the motions, and it may end up hurting two otherwise innocent and I'm sure talented men. While there is always room for doubt, in this case it is very slim in my opinion. If they are found to be spies working for some government, I will be quite shocked to say the least.

Verropoulos
Verropoulos

 @ck10304  @DespVand  @diabolik_023 dear Ck.. while i partially agree with your view point you are not completely right. Everyone here seems to make a TERRIBLE mistake. First of all im not in favor of sending those 2 guys to jail or anything like that because im pretty sure they were in the wrong place the wrong time and made some bad decisions. But look CAREFULY to what i have written. THEY DID MADE BAD DECISION also i sais im pretty sure NOT completely sure. You must alwayw leave space for doubt. If you don't know the laws of a country on a certain matter you don't go and play with fire. What they did was wrong, maybe not in a large scale but wrong nevertheless because they neglected finding out if it's ok to photograph a military base in another country,. If they knew that's illegal then they were surely asking for it. 

SECOND and MOST important. As i have said this countless times but people seem to not get it. Just because you think it's retarted for someone to spy on Greece and you can't find a logical reason behind it, it doesn't mean that there is no reason for someone else. Even if Greek authorities are sure that this is a misunderstanding they still have to investigate it fully. That's the law and thats why we have rules. Saying for sure that no one wants to spy on Greece just because that's what you as an individual believe comes as naive and ignorant. I dont say that you are like that. But no one should say that he's a 100% sure for something because nothing is. Until we know the full details we can say anything more.

ck10304
ck10304

 @DespVand  @diabolik_023 Your comment scares the hell out of me. I'm not American and am no fan of the American security/justice system, so comparing your legal system to their's does not help your case. From your comment it seems that you think sending someone to Gitmo for doing unauthorized research FOR A VIDEO GAME is a perfectly justifiable punishment. These guys likely just happened to be on the island and saw a base and thought, "wow, my boss would be so impressed with me if I came back with some photos of it". I mean, why would someone go to some remote Greek island with the intent of photographing military bases in secret, that's just retarded. If that was their purpose I'm sure they could have done the same thing in their own country with no problems. This whole protectionist/isolationist mindset developing in the world is not helping better our society, how about just confiscating the material and giving them a warning? I bet they wouldn't do it again. But no, they need to send them to jail, because the world's superpowers are all CLAMORING to get info on Greece's military power, HA! In my opinion this is a country tired of being labelled as weak and tired of being pushed around by other EU powers and so wanted to vent their growing xenophobia just to show that they aren't chumps. But guess what? Arresting video game developers who clearly have no interest in divulging super secret info about Greece's military only proves the fact.

DespVand
DespVand

 @ck10304  @diabolik_023 They should have gone and taken permits, the PR guys would have given them full access, instead they tried doing it for free... and got caught... they were photographing military installations for the love of god not some historic building!!! if they had been caught taking pictures of the pentagon or an american military installation they would be on their way to gitmo by now without trial or fuss... why should our military installations be any different?? give them the max. sentence so that in the future others will know to go through the proper channels!

ck10304
ck10304

that was directed @theoloc btw

ck10304
ck10304

While you may be correct that judging a country by one incident is illogical, it is quite logical to judge a country by the total sum of it's incidents and how it responds globally to these issues. If these developers get anything more than a couple of years I'll be judging Greece all day long, and probably tomorrow too. I don't hate Greek people, I've got a number of Greek friends, nor do I hate Greece, I think it's a beautiful country with a rich history that I would like to visit. However, the fact remains that this incident can negatively impact people's perception of Greece depending upon how they continue their course of action, and I think that is justified.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @Theoloc Well that was weird... Look I was just saying people aren't "hating". They're largely just making ignorant statements about the government of a country, which you are apparently outraged by, and I find that odd. That's it. I picked out the "racist" bit since that word's kind of important, especially in the above post, as it indicates that you think the people of Greece are the subject, and that people hate them, and neither is true.

 

Honestly, I'm baffled in a number of ways by your reaction, so I'll just say I'm sorry for all those things you made up about me and my post. Good day, Sir.

Verropoulos
Verropoulos

 @shado_kat  @russell_1 Shado Kat i wish more could think like you. Everybody is throwing the crisis bit everywhere whenever something happens withs Greece. Igonrant people like @nameaprice are filling this forums. Nobody said Greece wasn't broke or in a bad shape. But everyone is implying that this has something to do with the 2 developers. If someone can't think of a reason why someone would want to spy on Greece that doesn't mean a reason doesn't exist for someone else.

shado_kat
shado_kat

 @russell_1 absolutely not. As are many countries around the world. I fail to see what this has to do with two game developers being arrested for breaking local law though and how it warrants labeling an entire nation and its people as a "S*&^ HOLE".

 

Greece IS in serious financial trouble. Apparently unlike many people though, I take no pleasure or "lulz" in the suffering of millions of people due to corrupt politicians. Call me crazy