Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

Poland arrests two over spying for China, including Huawei employee

Poland arrests two over spying for China, including Huawei employee

After both suspects were reportedly detained by the ABW earlier this week, the Warsaw District Court ruled on Thursday that the two should remain behind bars for three months.

A spokesman for the agency, Stanislaw Zaryn, said the two were arrested on Tuesday.

An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw says China attaches "great importance to the detention" of a Chinese citizen in Poland who has been detained and charged with espionage and that a representative of the embassy has met with officials at Poland's Foreign Ministry to discuss the case.

The arrest might not have a big impact on broader trade tensions between China and the USA, but it shows that "there will always be competition and acrimony related to Chinese tech companies", Benner said. "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".

Ties between the United States and China have become increasingly strained since Canadian authorities arrested a Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in December at the request of U.S. authorities.

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Some European governments and telecom companies are following the USA lead in questioning whether using Huawei for vital infrastructure for mobile networks could leave them exposed to snooping by the Chinese government.

The Polish spy agency and Poland's state television, which is closely tied to the Polish government, reported the arrests and the searches at both Huawei and Orange.

TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB).

Poland's Internal Security Agency accuses Huawei's sales director in Poland of spying on behalf of China, arresting the Chinese citizen along with one other man.

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

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Orange Polska spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski told AFP that "ABW officials carried out items belonging to one of our employees on Tuesday".

The case broke as a number of countries are limiting Huawei's activities in their territory as they fear it would give access to Chinese authorities to critical information and networks.

Norway's comments come at a time in the country is seeking to stamp out vulnerabilities in its telecoms networks. The company said it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work, and that it would continue to co-operate with the authorities. Meng was released on bail four weeks ago and is living under restrictions in her million-dollar Vancouver home.

In response, China has arrested a handful of Canadian nationals, apparently forcing a hostage standoff to get Meng back.

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.

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