NZ$2250 fine for illegal transmitter use

Thursday, 11 April, 2019

NZ$2250 fine for illegal transmitter use

A New Zealand man has been fined NZ$2250 in the Tauranga District Court for offences relating to the possession and use of unlicensed radiocommunications equipment.

On 24 August last year, Elvis Johnstone was stopped by police in the Whangarei area. Upon searching his car, they located a Baofeng UV-5R two-way radio. When switched on, the device was found to be set to the same frequency as the Northland Police channel.

Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) laid charges against the man under sections 113 and 114 of the Radiocommunications Act 1989.

The judge imposed a fine of NZ$3000, discounted by 25% for an early guilty plea, resulting in a fine of NZ$2250 plus court costs.

The National Manager for Radio Spectrum Management, Fadia Mudafar, said that disregard of the licensing framework has the potential to cause serious harm to radiocommunications.

“It is particularly important that Radio Spectrum Management protects safety and enforcement agencies’ communication networks. Malicious and harmful interference by unlicensed transmitters is very serious and we hope that this prosecution highlights the consequences of not following rules,” Mudafar said.

Since this event, RSM has taken further steps to stop unlicensed radio use. In October 2018 the Radiocommunications Regulations (Prohibited Equipment – Unrestricted Two Way Radio) Notice 2018 was introduced, which prohibits the import, sale and distribution of unrestricted two-way radio equipment, other than by a permitted person.

Image credit: © Photo Club

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