On Monday, October 8, a Chinese national was reportedly arrested by police officers at Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport (VNS) in Uttar Pradesh state for unauthorized possession of a satellite phone. Local sources indicate the individual had not declared his satellite phone before arriving at the airport, as required by Indian law.
The country's ban on the use of satellite phones by foreigners without written government permission continues to be in effect and foreign nationals risk detention if they fail to adhere to the regulation. According to the Indian government, travelers are only allowed to carry satellite phones after having obtained approval from India's Department of Telecommunications. Further information regarding restrictions on the use of satellite phones in India can be found on the Department of Telecommunications' website.
Several foreign nationals have been arrested in recent years for not declaring satellite phones prior to arrival to India. Three foreign nationals, one Australian and two Filipinos, were reportedly detained onboard an Australian ship on June 16 for using a satellite phone; their visas and passports were also reportedly confiscated. The trio were stopped while traveling to Dhamra port in Bhadrak district, Odisha (Orissa) state. Dhamra is a particularly sensitive location because it is one of the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization's missile launch sites.
Individuals traveling to India are advised to follow all local legislation. Western diplomatic authorities advise travelers to contact their nearest Indian diplomatic mission for further information regarding restrictions on the use of satellite phones.
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