A CREWMEMBER from a bulk carrier was arrested and charged on Sunday (19 November) at Port Hedland after allegedly refusing to comply with a commonwealth magistrate’s order for data access.

The Montenegrin national, 37, was arrested after AFP and ABF officers searched the ship as part of a border enforcement operation.

Police asked the crew members to show them their mobile telephones. The man provided two telephones to investigators.

However, a search of his cabin uncovered a third mobile telephone.

Police allege the man refused to provide the passcode for that telephone, claiming he found it during a stop in another country and did not know how to unlock it.

The man was refused police bail and appeared in court via video link on Monday, charged with one count of failure to comply with an order.

The maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment for not providing access to electronic devices in matters where police are investigating a serious offence.