Poland arrests Huawei employee on spying charges

Share

However, the person is said to be a former high-ranking official at Poland's internal security agency.

Wang's resume said he worked at China's General Consulate in Gdansk from 2006-2011 and at Huawei Enterprise Poland since 2011, where he was first director of public affairs and since 2017 the "sales director of public sector". The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

Even without concrete evidence, many countries around the world are banning Huawei from working on their national 5G grid, with many more considering the same move.

Geopolitical tensions over Huawei intensified after its chief financial officer, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested December 1 in Canada in connection with US accusations that the company violated restrictions on sales of American technology to Iran.

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". 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 agency did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment. Huawei has repeatedly dismissed claims that it is a Beijing tool, with company officials noting that it is an independent entity and has never been implicated in any spy rings - until now.

Last Tuesday (8 January), ABW counterintelligence officers entered the homes of both suspects and secured documents and electronic data at the premises of Huawei Poland, the Office of Electronic Communications and Orange Poland. If found guilty they could face 10 years in jail.

More news: NASA’s New Horizons mission releases snowman-like picture of Ultima Thule
More news: During Shutdown, National Parks Are Not Doing Well
More news: Chelsea could decide Eden Hazard's future for him in January - Maurizio Sarri

The Chinese foreign ministry told AFP it was "highly concerned" by the arrest.

"ABW (Internal Security Agency) officials conducted actions, as a result of which, we handed over belongings of one of our employees", Orange Polska said in a statement.

Norway's comments come at a time in the country is seeking to stamp out vulnerabilities in its telecoms networks.

Britain's largest mobile provider BT said last month it would remove Huawei equipment from its cellular network after the foreign intelligence service called the company a security risk. Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his work at Orange or elsewhere.

The Polish announcement comes weeks after Canada arrested Huawei vice-president Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating Iran sanctions.

Telenor is now testing 5G networks with the use of Chinese equipment supplied by Huawei, but with Friday's arrests, pressure will only mount on the firm, who sought to substantiate their presence on the continent with the establishment of an European Union headquarters in Brussels in 2018. She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings.

Share