The proprietor of a Greek protection firm is suspected by the American prosecution of conspiracy, fraud and smuggling of navy items and expertise to Russia. The corporate, the Aratos Group, additionally has branches within the Netherlands: Aratos Techniques BV in Rijen and ForceApp BV in The Hague.
“Though the defendant and the Aratos Group ostensibly acted as buying and selling companions of NATO and different allies, they had been imposters who supported the Russian battle effort and helped them develop a brand new technology of weapons,” the US prosecutor mentioned.
The proprietor, 59-year-old Greek Nikolaos Bogonikolos, was arrested in Paris on Might 9. There he awaits extradition to the US.
In accordance with the Individuals, B.’s firms had been managed by Russian intelligence companies. The objective was to make use of US navy expertise and dual-use pay money for expertise. The latter are applied sciences that can be utilized in each civil and navy items.
Bogonikolos is claimed to have acknowledged the Netherlands as the ultimate vacation spot for this kind of items quite a lot of instances, though in actuality that was Russia.
Among the many items had been superior electronics and complex check tools, together with these for quantum cryptography and nuclear weapons, the Individuals mentioned.
Bogonikolos is claimed to have been recruited by the Russians round 2017. In December of that 12 months, a Russian firm requested him to come back to Moscow on his personal, as a result of the subject of dialog was mentioned to be very delicate. That firm could be run by a Russian intelligence service.
The Aratos Group and its subsidiaries focus on aerospace engineering, homeland safety, blockchain engineering and protection towards drone assaults. The web sites of the businesses have been taken offline.
In accordance with the American OM, the Dutch subsidiary Aratos Techniques BV managed to achieve the ultimate in 2021 of a contest organized by NATO for purposes of AI and blockchain expertise for satellites and spacecraft.
The web site of the umbrella group of Dutch protection firms NIDV states that ForceApp BV is a accomplice of the Hague Safety Delta (HSD), a bunch of 275 firms, authorities establishments and information institutes. The corporate can also be a participant in a European venture that ought to allow EU international locations to disable sea mines with out exterior assist.