Sabinsa sues former employee for data theft

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Bet_Noire
©iStock/Bet_Noire

Related tags: Law

Multinational botanicals giant Sabinsa is suing a former employee and the MD of the firm with whom he allegedly shared stolen customer lists, technical and other data.

Sabinsa Europe GmbH sacked Binoy Mathew in September 2013 over the matter, and says in the German court action that Mathew stole the data from its HQ in Langen near Frankfurt months before that and simultaneously began working for Frankfurt-based Bioactives Europe GmbH, where the former controller and logistics manager allegedly shared the illicit cache.

BioActives managing director Syed M Saleel is also named in the action that seeks damages, legal costs and destruction of the alleged data which has been lodged in the Frankfurt Trade Court.

Saleel nor BioActives Europe were available for comment by the time of publication.

Earlier this year, Sabinsa issued a Cease and Desist letter to BioActives Europe to halt its alleged illegal activity, to which it said there was no response.

Mathew, who began working for Sabinsa in 2006, had previously challenged his extraordinary dismissal in a German labour court, but lost the case.

BioActives specialises in botanical nutrients and colours including curcumin, boswellia, rosemary and lutein for the food, supplements and cosmetics sectors.

More details

After publication Sabinsa said the Mathew case was likely to be heard this week but no date had been set for a separate hearing for the BioActives case.

Madhu Subramanian, Sabinsa president of global business expansion and operations, said its evidence included emails offering sensitive Sabinsa data sent by Mathew to "several of our customers in Europe."

Sabinsa is seeking about €5000 from Mathew for damages plus legal costs, "as stipulated by German legal system."

It is also claiming €100,000 in damages from BioActives "for use of stolen data".

"This is again an initial amount for the court but action damages will be ascertained once the judgement is made regarding the use of data theft,"​ said Subramanian. 

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1 comment

Just Curious

Posted by Robin Knopf,

Did Sabinsa Europe GmbH "sack" Binoy Mathew for the said "theft" of data or was it for another reason?

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