STOCKHOLM, October 17. /TASS/. Four people traveling in a car with Russian license plates, three men and a woman, were detained in Norway as they were spotted taking pictures of objects prohibited for documentation, the NRK TV reported on Monday, citing the police.
The incident took place on October 11, during a car search in Mosjoen. "[The four Russians] were detained after a vehicle search. A large amount of photographic equipment and a relatively large amount of photographic material was found," the police spokesman said. When questioned, the Russians claimed they were visiting Norway as tourists.
The next step will be an examination of the seized photographic material in order to determine if, in fact, illegal photographing of protected objects occurred. "This is something we know how to do," the NRK TV quoted the Norwegian Police Security Service representative as saying. The Russians are suspected of violating the Information Act, they were detained for "recording or using information of certain objects requiring protection or activities taking place at or near them."
The police have not yet said whether there is any connection between the detention of Russian citizens in Tromso and Finnmark. In the case of the latter, the detainees did not use drones, but ordinary photo cameras. It is also unknown what kind of objects they were photographing. However, according to the NRK TV, it might be Drevjamoen, a camp 30 kilometers away from Mosjoen, which is under the jurisdiction of a logistics company of the Norwegian armed forces.
On Friday morning, a Russian citizen was detained at the airport in Tromso, Norway, with a drone. The man had previously been spotted taking pictures of the airport. According to police, he was carrying a large amount of photographic equipment and several memory cards with images from the airport in Kirkenes, including a Norwegian armed forces’ helicopter. The man claimed that he did not live in Norway, but was on his way to Spitsbergen.
A few days ago another Russian citizen was detained at the Russia-Norway border because Norwegian customs found two drones and four terabytes of image data in his backpack. The Finnmark District Court has been holding him for two weeks. The detainee is accused of violating sanctions law, which came into force after the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. According to one of its paragraphs, Russian companies and citizens are forbidden to fly drones over Norwegian territory.