Kemel Kharbachi became known in the tourism sector in Mallorca with the organisation of a series of forums on innovation. He now promotes his space tourism company. | T.Ayuga

A court in Palma is investigating a company that markets tourist trips to space for fraud. The founder and sole administrator of EOS-X Space, Kemel Kharbachi, actually testified last week as an investigator in the courts of Palma, following a complaint filed by an investor who demands the return of the money he advanced: one hundred thousand euros. The complaint alleges that it is a fictitious operation to attract funds from potential investors in a project with no real basis.

In this case, the complainant entered into an investment agreement with Kharbachi in February 2020 under the formula of an irrevocable convertible loan agreement, meaning that the loan amount would be converted to equity in the company.

After numerous meetings in Palma to negotiate the terms, the agreement gave the company 120 days to complete a capital of one million euros with which to launch the project. If the amount was not met, the investors were entitled to have the money returned to them and it could not be used for purposes other than space tourism.

When the deadline expired, the investor from Mallorca asked to get his 100,000 euros back. Through e-mails and several channels he tried to enforce the return clause but without any success. EOS-X in fact maintains the same share capital as when the company was founded, which is ten thousand Euros, and there is no record in the Mercantile Registry (Companies House) that it has filed its accounts. With these indications, the investor filed a complaint in view of the suspicions that the business is a mere set-up. Kharbachi defended in court that the project is real and that in recent months he has attracted new investments to develop his idea of commercialising space travel in the medium term.

Throughout 2020, the company founder presented the project through a series of interviews, at tourism events and in an advertising campaign. He assured that the headquarters from which the company would operate would be Seville.

He announced that he was working with a series of technological partners to start flight tests throughout 2021 and expected the first tourists to travel to space next year. Kharbachi has also chaired Agora Next, a company linked to the tourism sector that organised several forums on innovation in the sector in Palma a few years ago and maintained a headquarters in Parc Bit dedicated to being "business accelerator".