Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Poland arrests two over spying allegations, including Huawei employee

The Huawei logo Modal Trigger Shutterstock
Jeannette Daniel | 11 January, 2019, 16:59

The news agency quotes Huawei as offering no comment, beyond saying that it is aware of the case and is monitoring the situation.

Polish security services have charged a Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei in Poland and a Polish former intelligence officer with espionage against the country on behest of China.

Huawei has been blocked in the US since 2012 after the House Intelligence Committee report found that using the company's technology could pose a security risk.

In a coordinated arrest, police also detained a Polish citizen named Piotr D. - a former Internal Security Agency official who now works for the telecom Orange Polska, according to Poland's TVP Info, which first reported the story.

The firm's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December over allegations of breaking of United States sanctions on Iran.

The company added, "we have no knowledge if there is any relation of these actions to his professional duties".

No evidence has publically been produced over Huawei using such equipment. They took "documents and electronic data" from Huawei's office, said The Wall Street Journal.

More news: Missing US teenager found alive three months later

In a statement, Huawei said it "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".

The Chinese national was a sales director, though the Polish national's role is unclear. Some experts also see a risk that Chinese intelligence may develop an ability to subvert Huawei's equipment.

New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. have barred Huawei from involvement in their next-generation 5G mobile networks.

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.

The arrested pair will be held for three months, PAP reported, citing the spokesperson for Poland's head of special services.

Two individuals were arrested, the second being a Polish national. The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

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