The man who claimed itg transferred sensitive American technologies to the Russians, was detained on May 9, and is currently awaiting extradition to the United States. The Aratos Group is owned by Bogonikolosz, a group of companies developing satellite technology with branches in the Netherlands and Greece.
Allegedly, while ostensibly operating as a defense company for NATO and other allied countries, the company was doing double business and supporting Russia’s war effort and the development of their next-generation weapons
US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
According to the FBI, Bogonikolos the Russians may have organized it around 2017, when he was asked to come alone to his business meeting in Moscow “because there will be very sensitive issues on the agenda”. The investigative agency claims that the man has been involved in smuggling military and dual-use technologies of American origin to Russia ever since.
These highly controlled and sensitive technologies include advanced electronic test equipment used in military applications, such as quantum cryptography and nuclear weapons testing, as well as tactical battlefield equipment.
– says the FBI statement.
Aratos Group established its headquarters in 2016 in the Dutch city of Rijen, and In 2021, it achieved a finalist place in NATO’s innovation competition announced every year with his project involving artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
According to the Dutch daily newspaper Telegraaf, Aratos Group’s membership has been suspended by the umbrella organization of Dutch defense industry companies (NIDV) with immediate effect.
Last October, the head of the Dutch military intelligence service, Jan Swillens, drew attention to the fact that Dutch high-tech companies “unknowingly” sell their technologies to companies created by the Russian intelligence service. Swillens, in an interview with the daily Financieele Dagblad, said that the Russian military intelligence (GRU) created front organizations and companies with the aim of buying technology in the Netherlands and smuggling it to Russia for military purposes, thus avoiding sanctions.
Last March the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs expelled 17 Russian diplomats for espionagesome of whom are believed to have worked for the GRU.
The cover image is an illustration, source: Getty Images