Poland arrests Huawei employee on spying charges

Frederick Owens
January 11, 2019

The arrests are the latest setback for the Chinese technology company which is embroiled in a dispute with the USA over a ban on their devices, as well as a diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of their chief financial officer.

According to local media, the Chinese businessman is believed to be one of the directors of the Polish branch of Huawei. Also going by the Polish first name Stanislaw, the Chinese man had previously worked at the Chinese consulate.

The Polish man was identified as Piotr D. And said to have been a former high-ranking intelligence officer until 2011 at the Internal Security Agency, Poland's domestic counterintelligence agency.

Huawei told the BBC it had no immediate comment.

"The Chinese individual is a businessman working for an important telecommunications firm", Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services, said. If found guilty they could face 10 years in jail.

But the criticism has led several Western countries and companies to look into whether they should allow Huawei's equipment to be used in their telecoms networks, straining relations with Beijing.

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"We have no comment for the time being". "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 added.

Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on December 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States. She was granted bail but remains in Vancouver under 24-hour surveillance. Approved in 2017, the law states that Chinese "organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work".

After both suspects were reportedly detained by the ABW earlier this week, the Warsaw District Court ruled on Thursday that the two should remain behind bars for three months.

That allegation has not been proven publicly and the company denies any link to China's government.

The development comes as a US dispute with China over a ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company's biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

In mid-August, Washington enacted legislation banning United States government agencies from using Huawei products amid concerns that the company's mobile phones "pose an unacceptable risk to the [Pentagon's] personnel, information and mission".

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