'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying'

Poland arrests Chinese Huawei exec, Pole on spying charges

Huawei Technologies, already mired in a U.S. case alleging sanctions violations, faces new global scrutiny after Poland arrested a company employee and a former Polish security agent and accused them of spying for China. Security services searched their homes and the offices of Huawei and Orange Polska, the Polish business of French mobile operator Orange SA.

Polish state television TVP reported that the men have proclaimed their innocence, but Zaryn said he could not confirm that.

A senior Huawei Canada executive who served as the company's spokesperson in Canada has announced he will be leaving the Chinese company as tensions rise between Canada and China.

Last year, The Australian newspaper reported officials in the land "Down Under" had received reports about Chinese spies using Huawei to infiltrate a "foreign network".

The operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care, said Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services.

According to a draft of China's national intelligence law that was recently released, all Chinese companies "shall support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work, and maintain the secrecy of national intelligence work they are aware of".

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.

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TVP said the men have not pleaded guilty and are refusing to give testimony in the case. If convicted, the pair could face up to 10 years imprisonment. Under Polish law, their last names can not be published ahead of trial.

A Huawei representative said the company was looking into the matter and declined to comment further.

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

Germany has said it's considering restricting Huawei's role in its future telecom infrastructure, while Czech President Milos Zeman said on Friday China is preparing an economically damaging reprisal against his country after the authorities issued warnings about Huawei and risks it poses to security.

The developments come after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, Canada in early December 2018 at the request of United States law enforcement officials.

The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said it was "greatly concerned" and that it expects Poland to "justly" manage the case. They also arrested a Polish employee of the local subsidiary of European communications giant Orange. US prosecutors have accused her of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating USA sanctions.

Critics claim that Huawei has close ties to the Chinese government and thus could be coerced into using company equipment for espionage or even cyberattacks as directed by Beijing.

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