Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Poles arrest Huawei manager for spying

Poles arrest Huawei manager for spying

Australia and New Zealand have also enacted similar bans, leaving Canada the only country in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network not to take steps against the Chinese firm. The arrest is a fresh sign that a United States dispute with China over its ban on the company is spilling over to Europe, Huawei's biggest foreign market. A government spokesman identified the suspect as Weijing W.; media reports in Poland and China say he's also known as Stanislaw Wang, Huawei's sales director in Poland.

"The Chinese individual is a businessman working for an important telecommunications firm", Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services, said.

He said "both carried out espionage activities against Poland", but did not identify them.

Zaryn told The Associated Press that prosecutors have charged the two men with espionage, but that agents are continuing to collect evidence and interview witnesses, including sorting through what was seized earlier this week.

"We will be in touch with Polish authorities for further information", said spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

"This matter has to do with his actions, it doesn't have anything to do with the company he works for", Mr. Zaryn said of the Chinese man. If found guilty, the two face up to 10 years in prison.

The Chinese national was a sales director, though the Polish national's role is unclear.

TVP said the security services also searched the offices of Poland's telecoms regulator, the Office of Electronic Communications, but the regulator denied this.

Previously, he had an official position as attaché at the consulate of China in the port city of Gdansk.

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

Huawei said in a terse statement that it was "aware of the situation" and "looking into it".

Norway's comments come at a time in the country is seeking to stamp out vulnerabilities in its telecoms networks. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw said China attaches "great importance to the detention" of the Chinese citizen in Poland and that Chinese envoys had met with Polish Foreign Ministry officials to urge them to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible".

Orange said in a statement that the Polish security services had gathered material related to an employee, but it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work.

Another senior Huawei employee, Vice-President Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the founder of the company, was also arrested in Canada last month. Meng was released on bail four weeks ago and is living under restrictions in her million-dollar Vancouver home.

Britain's largest mobile provider BT said last month that it would remove Huawei equipment from its cellular network after the foreign intelligence service called the company a security risk.

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