Police confiscated the surveillance van worth $9 million circulating the streets of Cyprus. The existence of the van has raised many questions among political groups.
The owner of the “spy vehicle” is Israeli Tal Dilian, an intelligence veteran currently residing in Larnaca. The presence of his new enterprise Intellexa, a one-stop-shop selling cyber arsenal and hacking tools, attracted the attention of Forbes who dedicated an article on him last August.
Tal Dilian, described by Forbes as a multi-millionaire former Israeli secret agent, who works privately and provides espionage services to government states and various companies, had told the journalists that the tools he uses are able to monitor cell phones and other electronic devices within 500 meters. His surveillance system specializes in the interception of audio conversations, written texts and other data such as WhatsApp messages, Facebook chats, SMS texts, calls, contacts etc.
He claims such tools are designed to snoop on terrorists, drug cartels and the world’s most egregious criminals. But that’s not always the case. Politicians, human rights activists and journalists have been targeted too. Most infamously, associates of Khashoggi and other Saudi Arabian activists were allegedly targeted by stealth iPhone spyware called Pegasus in the lead-up to his torture and slaughter in Istanbul.