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09 December, 2019
 
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WiSpear says it never spied on Cypriots

Cyprus-based Israeli company behind controversial spy van responds to media speculation

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The company linked to an Israeli spy van in Cyprus has weighed in on media speculation following reports that it was spying illegally all over the island.

According to a statement by WS WiSpear, an Israeli Cypriot high-tech company that sells long range mission intelligence vehicles, the business aim of the company is to sell surveillance systems to clients and not spy on anyone.

“In the last few days there have been many stories in the media about the van, which belongs to WiSpear Company,” adding that they did not plan to respond until after a police investigation would be concluded.

“But we have seen that our company and its staff have been caught unwillingly in broad speculation where facts are mixed together with inaccurate information and theories that cause more confusion than providing any explanation.”

'During its time of operation, the company has not sold or rented out any intelligence systems to Cypriot authorities'

The company went on to say that it was registered in 2013 in Cyprus and began operation in late 2017.

“During its operations, the company has not sold or rented out any intelligence systems to Cypriot authorities,” the statement said.

Last week, a spy van was confiscated by police following criticism by politicians who came to know about the vehicle’s surveillance capabilities through a video shot in Larnaca for a Forbes story and posted on YouTube in early September.

Questions were raised over possible surveillance of unsuspecting citizens, including politicians, while a story in Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Wednesday that the spy van might have been targeting the north of the island.

The state-of-the-art equipment in the van, which is worth millions, can pinpoint the exact location of individuals who carry a Smartphone as long as the device is connected to a network.

Reports also say the spy van can monitor electronic devices, hack any phone, and listen in to conversations regardless of the level of encryption.

Local media reported on questions being raised after police statements indicated that some evidence had been found and further tests were on the way. Additional reports further suggested that members of the local Jewish community had ties with some politicians.

Reports also picked up on a visit by the late president Demetris Christofias in March 2011, when he travelled to Israel and signed an agreement with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

According to Israeli media, the Cypriot president had brought with him dozens of businesspeople from the island including some who had worked on expansion of cooperation agreements in several fields including technology.

The company said it had proof that its operations were geared toward prospective buyers, who could be foreign governments according to media reports.

Tan Dilian, the head of the company, was said to be abroad and was expected to be questioned by police upon his return to the island.

A Homeland Security and Safety expo “Milipol Paris 2019” is underway in France this week, where WiSpear is said to be exhibiting its products.

“We are not the policemen of the world and we are not the judges of the world,” Dilian said during the Forbes interview.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Israel  |  WiSpear  |  spy van  |  intelligence  |  surveillance

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