Poland arrests Chinese businessman, Pole on spying charges

Two people were arrested in Poland over espionage charges, according to a report from a Polish news broadcaster.

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

A LinkedIn profile for Mr. Wang showed he has worked for Huawei's Polish division since 2011 and previously served as attache to the Chinese General Consul in Gdansk from 2006-2011.

The company 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".

Local media identified the firm as Huawei Technologies Co and said the suspect was the sales director of its office in Poland.

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 company has also come under fire for allegations that Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou conspired to defraud banks to unwittingly clear transactions linked to Iran, in violation of U.S. Sanctions.

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Huawei has come under intense scrutiny in recent months as countries including Australia, New Zealand and Japan have followed USA moves against the company, citing security concerns. He alleged both suspects "carried out espionage activities against Poland". Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment.

Europe should be "worried" about Huawei and other Chinese companies, given the mandatory cooperation they have to maintain with Chinese intelligence services, European Commission Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said on Friday (7 December).

China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly".

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd is linked to China's government and that its equipment could contain "backdoors" for use by government spies. Chinese authorities then detained two Canadians - a former diplomat and a business consultant - on suspicion of endangering national security. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison each. "We have no comment for the time being".

Orange Poland told the AP on Friday it was cooperating with Polish security services in the case and had "handed over belongings of one of our employees" in Tuesday's search of its offices. US prosecutors have accused her of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating USA sanctions.

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. Meng was released on bail four weeks ago and is living under restrictions in her million-dollar Vancouver home.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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