Qatar, the controversy that reverberates in Luxembourg

Welcome to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar! Since 1er In November, the region’s main telecom operator, Ooredoo, launched “Hayya”, an incredible promotional offer. Fans and onlookers attending the most publicized event on the planet will be able to enjoy 2022 local minutes, 2022 local SMS and 2022 MB of data free of charge (the line is valid for three days). On the operator’s website, visitors must fill in their “local” identification number and take a picture of themselves.

Apart from the fact that the data seems to be transmitted to a server that is foreign to the operator, nothing to complain about… Only that Ooredoo has formalized a partnership with a start-up born in Switzerland, Kido Dynamics, specialized in analyzing data from telecommunications operators. The spin-off of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne recovers the “CDR”, the detailed record of telecommunications operators (including Orange and Altice), to feed a tool for modeling user movements after a triple layer of encryption – over which there would be much to say, but that is another matter.

Also subsidized (150 thousand euros) by the European Union within the scope of the initiative against Covid – to which Luxembourg does not provide health data – the start-up did not respond to our questions about the purpose of its technology in the context of Qatar.

Neither my client nor any of his two funds entered into a cybersecurity consulting contract or any other commercial contract in Qatar

Captain Nicholas🇧🇷 Lawyer for Mr. Khare

On Tuesday, the German data regulator recommended using Hayya. “No other personal data such as phone numbers, images or audio files should be stored on this device. After using the apps, the operating system and all contents of the used phone must be completely deleted”, write the BFDI🇧🇷

Same thing on the side of its Norwegian counterpart, which recommends “not giving the Hayya app access to your location. Check the settings in the app and on the phone if you’re not sure the app has this access. The app’s privacy statement (qatar2022.qa) makes the app look like it’s still working even if you deny location access.”

The CNIL, in France, recommends boarding only on prepaid phones to avoid giving access to personal data.

A very sharp confrontation tool, it denounces in substance those who today attack the Indian Rajat Khare, the sole economic beneficiary of two investment funds established in Luxembourg, BH Technology Investments (2016) and Boundary Holding (2018). It is through the second that he participated in a collection of 1.9 million dollars in Kido Dynamics, released in early December 2021. They refer to pseudo international spy activities about ten years ago from India and presumed, but never demonstrated agreements with the local authorities.

A mistake by a Luxembourg trustee

“Neither my client nor any of his two funds have entered into a cybersecurity consulting contract or any other commercial contract in Qatar,” replies his Swiss lawyer, Me Nicolas Capt. According to the latter, Rajat Khare was not even aware of the partnership between the Swiss start-up and the telecom operator. “While my client is naturally informed about the companies in which he invests, his knowledge, as an investor, does not, however, extend to the operational level.”

The only link that could be established with Qatar is in the registration of the first of its two funds for which the forty had the Four Seasons in Doha as their professional address… until the commercial court canceled a registration in the Registry du commerce and replaced it with its current address, in Colony, in the ultra-chic, cozy and silent suburb of Geneva. An error by a Luxembourg trustee, according to our information.

The accusation of being a cybermercenary specializing in online intelligence dates back to the 2010s. Exactly in May 2013, a Norwegian company specializing in cybersecurity published “Operation Hangover – revealing an Indian cyberattack infrastructure”. Ten years later and purchased twice, it no longer provides a link to this report, but there is another version here [sans qu’il nous soit possible d’établir son intégrité, ndlr.]🇧🇷 The report, which caused an uproar at the time, tells how Indian hackers pursued Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor and “companies, governments and political organizations around the world” between September 2010 and 2013. Appin was forgotten early on by those who echoed him. The report does not mention Rajat Khare once and only specifically mentions “Appin Technology” and “Appin Security Solutions”.

40 ultra-minority holdings and 24sens

“My client was, until 2012, director of “Appin Knowledge Solutions”, an Indian company that offered training programs in advanced technologies, including undergraduate courses, in more than 100 training centers. It has trained over 100,000 students. Appin operated on a franchise model. More than 100 people owned Appin franchises, which were operated independently and under their own sole responsibility. This may be why the completely erroneous impression was created that my client was involved in alleged actions of which he is unaware. My client is a successful and reputable international businessman. He was never questioned by the criminal authorities of any country. He vehemently denies any connection to any illegal activity.

The sale of AKS made him a multimillionaire as he said in 2021 in one of his rare interviews. And this computer graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology – where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela also passed – has taken over, since his “arrival” in Luxembourg, about forty very minority stakes (5 to 20% in general), in four main areas (autonomous vehicles and drones, detection and data analysis solutions, cleantech and medtech) with a triple requirement: that the technology be very disruptive, that the start-up be profitable or very close to it and that the end user be heavily linked to the public sector.

There is only one known “sprain” in this strategy, the joint venture created in 2020 with 24sens, an Austrian start-up launched by Günter Grabher, owner of the Grabher group and initiator of the Smart Textiles Platform Austria. Next year, it should launch the first cardiac strap capable of documenting cardiac fibrillation, a fatal heart disease for 37% of people over 55 years of age.

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