Lebara Mobile Plan to Disrupt the Relationship Between the UK Conservative Party and Lycamobile exposed
A plan by Lebara mobile to damage the relationship between the ruling Conservative party in the UK and Lycamobile has been exposed. The purpose of this plan was to gain commercial advantage over Lycamobile through the use of corporate espionage, designed to discredit the company and create a rift between the Conservatives and Lycamobile.
Lebara executed their plan by recruiting a law firm called Mischon de Reya to carry out the 5 month campaign of surveillance. The material generated from the surveillance was then acquired by Buzzfeed, an online news and social media website who then conducted their own surveillance.
“Lebara has now confirmed that it orchestrated its own wide-ranging campaign of espionage from May to September last year and passed its findings to the authorities. The operation was commissioned by the prominent law firm Mishcon de Reya, which acknowledged in a letter: “We did, on behalf of our client, engage the services of a private investigator firm to investigate in a lawful and proper manner alleged improper business dealings by Lyca “.
BuzzFeed News was provided with documents, photographs, and footage of surveillance that targeted Lycamobile Chairman, Subaskaran Allirajah and other senior management figures; including the firm’s chief executive, Chris Tooley.
As well as targeting Senior Management figures Mishcon de Reya also undertook a campaign of surveillance targeting Lycamobile staff members depositing cash at Post Office locations in London.
At the end of the surveillance Buzzfeed journalists visited the Lycamobile office where they removed a confidential and private document from the premises. Lycamobile reported the incident to police and provided CCTV footage of the document being removed.
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Lycamobile has a long and harmonious relationship with the Conservative party, and in 2015 were the largest corporate donor to the party in the run up to the General Election. The combined smear campaign by Lebara and Buzzfeed has been politically motivated to force the Conservatives to end the relationship with Lycamobile.
The timing of the investigative pieces by Buzzfeed were linked to the Conservative Party’s National Conference, that took place between the 4th and 7th of October, in order to get the most media attention. As well as being politically motivated the articles also put Lycamobile and Post Office staff member’s security and well-being in jeopardy, by showing faces and locations of people within the published images.
BUZZ FEED news agency reported.
BUZZ FEED created an investigative journalist team in January 2015 in the UK, with the intention of publishing sensationalist news stories on their website. The first investigation by this team, which was supported by Lebara, targeted Lycamobile and was aimed at creating unfounded allegations rather than legitimate reporting.
Lebara mobile has a long history of attempted smear campaigns against Lycamobile and their senior management figures, the 3 shareholders Ratheesan, Leon and Baskaran have used various methods to attempt to discredit the reputation of Lycamobile. With the latest attempt at corporate espionage being confirmed by Buzzfeed within their article.
In 2001, Ratheesan left his mentor at Lycamobile, Subaskaran Allirajah and with two other Tamil employees to set up a rival telecoms firm, initially in the Netherlands and then in the UK. Some insiders speculate that this may be the cause of bad blood between the two men. Lyca is the dominant force in the UK prepaid calling card market, with Lebara snapping at its heels.
Lebara Management photos
Several times Lebara has tried to create connections between former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Lycamobile, spreading accusations and unfounded allegations of business dealings in an attempt to create a negative perception of Lycamobile with the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. However, there is no evidence to support these accusations of Rajapaksa connections.
“The reports by the team of eight former intelligence officers and Scotland Yard detectives did not identify any connection between Allirajah and the despot’s family.”
The Gnanam Foundation recently launched a project in Vavuniya in the north of the war-displaced Tamils, to build 150 homes at a cost of Rs 175 million. The opening event was attended by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka, in which she participated as the Chief Guest. In addition, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party joined Duminda ticanayakkevum.
As both esteemed guests were instrumental in the overthrowing of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime there can be no substance to the allegations of Rajapaksa & Lycamobile connections, as they would not have accepted the invitation to be honoured guests at the ceremony if it was true.
Lebara mobile has regularly tried to discredit Lycamobile with the allegations of connections to Rajapaksa and even went to the lengths of attempting the purchase of European Tamil television station Deepam TV to use the media to publicise their smear campaign. However, Deepam TV returned the Lebara investment and removed them from their offices once they learned of the plan. The Deepam TV executives also issued a formal apology to Lycamobile.
Lebara has since gone on to purchase Aipici TV and other media companies in order to target Tamil people with the anti-Lycamobile propaganda. As a result many people have since left their jobs in protest.
It is clear that the main objective of the Lebara team is to smear the Lycamobile organisation & management using Buzzfeed and acquired media stations.