A 52-year-old US citizen, Andrew Ruben, was detained at the Chennai airport on Thursday, January 26, for carrying a satellite phone. The incident occurred during the heightened security measures in place ahead of India’s Republic Day celebrations.
Ruben was scheduled to depart for Singapore on a Singapore Airlines flight at 10.30 am. However, during the thorough security checks, officials discovered the satellite phone in his possession.
The security officials promptly seized the phone and detained Ruben for questioning. During the inquiry, Ruben revealed that he is a businessman who arrived in Chennai on a business trip the previous day. He further claimed that he had been carrying the satellite phone with him since his arrival and that it had passed through customs and security checks without issue on Wednesday.
Ruben also attempted to justify his possession of the phone by explaining that satellite phones are legal and commonly used in his home country. However, possessing or using satellite phones is illegal in India without prior permission from the relevant authorities. Ruben’s actions could potentially lead to legal repercussions, including fines or even imprisonment.
As of now, the exact outcome of the case remains unclear. Investigations are still ongoing, and it is uncertain whether Ruben will face any charges or be allowed to continue his journey to Singapore.