x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Foreign ministry warns Emiratis against travelling to India with satellite phones

Being in possession of a satellite phone is a criminal offence in India, the ministry has said.

ABU DHABI // Emiratis with satellite communication devices such as the Thuraya and Iridium have been advised not to travel to India with them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted to citizens yesterday that satellite phones had been banned in India since 2010.

Ambassador Eisa Abdullah Masoud Al Kalbani, the director of the Department of Nationals Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Indian government barred the use of  satellite communication devices and anyone found in possession of one would be held legally accountable.

Mr Al Kalbani added that this applies to holders of the device and anyone who receives a device by mail or by courier.

“It is good they are raising awareness among Emiratis,” said M?K Lokesh, the Indian ambassador to the UAE.

“We don’t want them to face any problems out of ignorance.”

The regulation is outlined in Section 6 of the Indian Wireless Act and Section 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act. The ban also applies while out on Indian waters, even if the holder of the phone does not set foot on land.

The phones were outlawed after government said the companies involved could not prove they would not be abused by terrorists.

Mr Al Kalbani said the warning came as part of a desire to protect Emiratis from problems they might encounter abroad – accidentally or otherwise.