Poland arrests Chinese employee of Huawei

11 January, 2019, 17:57 | Author: Carlos George
  • Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Poland has arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a Polish cyber business specialist on allegations of spying, state news agency PAP said on Friday, deepening the controversy over Western criticism of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker.

Poland has arrested a sales director for Chinese telecoms giant Huawei over allegations of working with Beijing's intelligence services.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special service, said that the operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care.

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies.

The two have not pleaded guilty and are refusing to provide testimony in the case, the state broadcaster said. If convicted, the men could face up to 10 years in prison.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray said in February that they were concerned about allowing a company "that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

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According to local media, the Chinese businessman is believed to be one of the directors of the Polish branch of Huawei.

Huawei is a leader in the development of next-generation "5G" mobile networks and a key player in building them in Europe.

The detention comes after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of United States law enforcement officials.

Of the latest reported arrest of its staff, Huawei said in a statement to Reuters that it was "aware of the situation, and we are looking into it". They took "documents and electronic data" from Huawei's office, said The Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese foreign ministry told AFP it was "highly concerned" by the arrest of its citizen. "Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based", it continued.

The company added, "we have no knowledge if there is any relation of these actions to his professional duties". She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings.

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