Innovaatio Varustukset laboratory robbed

New Eden News | YC109-05-06

HENTOGAIRA - The problems for military development firm Innovaatio Varustukset, recently the center of controversy as Ishukone's attempted purchase of it has been locked up in Caldari courts, are only getting worse. Late on the 27th April, one of the company's research laboratories, in the Hentogaira system, was the target of a break in.

At exactly 23:30, the power to the lab was cut and what was described as a "blue, odorless gas" was pumped into its ventilation systems. The gas overwhelmed the majority of the lab technicians and security, rendering them virtually incapacitated from choking and nausea. The few security personnel who were able to get to the emergency gas masks in time reported that between five and ten men, their faces concealed by gas masks, stormed the laboratory and, utilizing flashbang grenades and other non-lethal weaponry, incapacitated the remaining security.

In the five minutes that followed, the men ransacked the laboratory with what an anonymous source at the laboratory called "extreme precision". "They knew that they were looking for," the source said. When pushed for the exact nature of what was stolen, the source refused to speak.

As power was restored to the laboratory at 23:36, external security cameras caught a Buzzard-class ship quickly putting distance between itself and the laboratory before cloaking. However, the footage failed to show any markings that would help identify the ship.

Ishukone Watch forces, who have been assigned to protect Innovaatio Varustukset assets while the company is in ownership limbo, were responding to a pod pilot-related emergency outside of the Ishukone Corporation Warehouse in the system. An Ishukone spokesperson said "there is significant reason to doubt..." that the events are related, but that "...all clues will be examined to make sure that there is no connection."

Markku Samuli, CEO of Innovaatio Varustukset, speculated that the event was likely an attempted case of corporate espionage. "We are developing very high tech and valuable stuff. Luckily, the lab that was robbed is considered 'non-essential' and thus is related to the beginning stages of theoretical design and research, rather than containing any near-market products. Whoever the thieves were, they didn't make off with anything valuable."

Despite Samuli's reassurances, many privately believe that an important piece of research, possibly related to the rumored "universal cloaking device" that will allow even non-specialized ships to warp while cloaked, was lost in the raid. As sale of the company's stocks are currently frozen pending the legal decision regarding its ownership, the market effects on this raid are impossible to determine.

Official representatives of the other MegaCorps, including Kaalakiota Corporation (whose legal challenge is responsible for the freezing of Innovaatio Varustukset's research), all released statements denying responsibility and pledging their full cooperation with authorities investigating the matter.

Since the event the Caldari Business Tribunal has dispatched a team of investigators to investigate the incident