Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

Maciej Wasik

Counter intelligence services in Poland have arrested the sales director of Huawei on charges of spying while the local offices of the Chinese company were raided and searched, according to reports in the Polish media.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's Special Services agency, said the operation that resulted in the arrests of the two suspects had been underway for a long time. And Huawei has featured heavily in an obscure lawsuit that opened the first week of January in California between U.S. -based Qualcomm, a telecom company on the cutting edge of the next iteration of smartphone wireless known as 5G, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Both people "carried out espionage activities against Poland", a Polish government official told the AP.

It said that the pair had been charged under Polish laws relating to espionage and Polish state news agency PAP said that they would be detained for three months.

TVPInfo named the two accused as Weijing W. and Piotr D., in line with Polish law which prohibits the publications of full names of those detained.

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.

"We have no information as to whether this is at all related to his work duties", Jabczynski told AFP.

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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Chinese telecom company Huawei is being tightlipped on reports one of its employees has been arrested by Polish authorities on suspicion of espionage.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro (above) is one of its most powerful smartphones ever.

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

The development comes as the U.S.is exerting pressure on its allies to block Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns.

The men were arrested on Tuesday and are suspected of having "worked for Chinese services and to the detriment of Poland", said Polish special services spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn.

But a US dispute with China over its ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company's biggest foreign market.

China's foreign ministry reportedly said it was "greatly concerned" by the arrest, while Huawei said it was aware of the situation. She was granted bail by the Canadian supreme court in December 2018. So far, the USA has rebuffed Huawei's advances, considering them a threat to national security.

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