Huawei man­ager faces spy­ing charges in Poland

Kingston Whig-Standard - - WORLD NEWS - VANESSA GERA

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Agency has charged a Chi­nese man­ager at tech gi­ant Huawei in Poland and one of its own for­mer of­fi­cers with es­pi­onage against Poland on be­half of China, Pol­ish state TV re­ported on Fri­day.

The two men were ar­rested on Tues­day. Pol­ish se­cu­rity agents also searched the of­fices of Huawei and Orange, Poland’s lead­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions provider, where the Pole had re­cently worked, seiz­ing doc­u­ments and elec­tronic data. The homes of both men were also searched, ac­cord­ing to TVP, the state broad­caster.

The de­vel­op­ment comes as a U.S. 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.

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.

He said “both car­ried out es­pi­onage ac­tiv­i­ties against Poland.”

Pol­ish state TV, which is close to the gov­ern­ment, iden­ti­fied the Chi­nese man as Wei­jing W., say­ing he was a di­rec­tor in Poland at Huawei. Also go­ing by the Pol­ish first name Stanis­law, the Chi­nese man had pre­vi­ously worked at the Chi­nese con­sulate.

State TV iden­ti­fied the Pole as Piotr D., and said he was a high­rank­ing em­ployee at the In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Agency un­til 2011, where he served as deputy di­rec­tor in the depart­ment of in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity. TVP said the men have not pleaded guilty and are re­fus­ing to give tes­ti­mony in the case.

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

Huawei is­sued a state­ment from its Chi­nese head­quar­ters that said it was aware of the sit­u­a­tion and look­ing into it.

“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 con­tin­ued.

Geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions over Huawei in­ten­si­fied af­ter its chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, Meng Wanzhou, was ar­rested Dec. 1 in Canada in con­nec­tion with U.S. ac­cu­sa­tions that the com­pany vi­o­lated re­stric­tions on sales of Amer­i­can tech­nol­ogy to Iran.

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