Poland arrests Huawei employee on spying charges

Blanche Robertson
January 11, 2019

Wasik said that the Chinese suspect was a businessman working for a major electronics corporation and that the Pole was "known in circles associated with cyber-business affairs".

The two employees arrested include a Chinese national and a Polish national, both of whom worked at Huawei in Poland.

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

The Chinese government said it was "highly concerned" over reports of the arrest of a Chinese businessman for alleged espionage.

The Chinese government retaliated against the arrest by detaining Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, about a month ago, claiming he's a national security risk. Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment. They took "documents and electronic data" from Huawei's office, said The Wall Street Journal.

Norway said on Wednesday it was considering whether to join other Western nations in excluding Huawei from building part of the country's new 5G telecoms network.

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It added: "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".

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

The Polish man was identified as Piotr D. And said to have been a former high-ranking intelligence officer until 2011 at the Internal Security Agency, Poland's domestic counterintelligence agency.

It's the latest high-profile criminal case for Huawei, coming after Canada's arrest of its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the telecom equipment company's founder.

Two individuals were arrested, the second being a Polish national.

A spokesperson for Orange Polska told Reuters, "On Tuesday members of the internal security agency in Poland conducted procedures inquiring into one of our workers".

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