Lebara dismisses “corporate espionage” accusations around Lycamobile cash investigation


MVNO said it hired investigators to look into SIM-cards being dumped at locations across UK, but admitted to reporting “suspicious activity” to authorities

Lebara has dismissed claims that it conducted “corporate espionage” on rival Lycamobile, saying investigators who discovered Lyca’s “suspicious activity” were looking into SIM-dumping concerns.

In a statement released today, Lycamobile said it had sought legal advice after a report from news website BuzzFeed claimed Lebara had hired corporate spies to investigate its rival.

Lyca employees were filmed depositing rucksacks containing hundreds of thousands of pounds at Post Offices across London, as part of a five month investigation by BuzzFeed. The news website also claimed Lebara had conducted its own investigations into its rival.

A spokesperson for Lebara told Mobile News it had engaged private investigators in May 2014 to investigate “large quantities of unused Lebara SIM cards were being removed from retail outlets and dumped at locations in the UK and across mainland Europe.

“During the course of the investigation evidence of unrelated suspicious activity by persons linked to a competitor was discovered,” the spokesperson added. “This was reported to the UK authorities in August 2014.

“On the advice of those authorities, Lebara did not disclose these findings to any other party and is not responsible for the recent Buzzfeed investigation, as the relevant article itself makes clear. We have no further comment to make at this time.”