Poland arrests Chinese Huawei employee, Polish national over spying allegations

A Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei was arrested in Poland and charged with espionage on behalf of China

A Chinese manager at tech giant Huawei was arrested in Poland and charged with espionage on behalf of China

If found guilty they could face 10 years in jail.

The Polish suspect in the case, Piotr D., was an officer in the Internal Security Agency until 2011, according to TVP Info, which says he was an adviser to the head of the special service who also had expertise about the network Poland's government uses to share sensitive information.

The arrests are the latest setback for the Chinese technology company which is embroiled in a dispute with the USA over a ban on their devices, as well as a diplomatic row with Canada over the arrest of their chief financial officer. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same. Those included the Interior Ministry, the Office of Electronic Communications, a regulatory body that oversees cyber and other telecommunications issues, and the International Security Agency, Poland's counterespionage agency.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada last month at the request of the USA government.

Poland has arrested a sales director for Chinese telecoms giant Huawei over allegations of working with Beijing's intelligence services.

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 development comes as the USA is exerting pressure on its allies not to use Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, over data security concerns.

TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB). The Eastern European country's officers have seized documents from both Huawei's and Orange's offices.

An arrest of a Huawei executive in Poland for espionage might corroborate those concerns.

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.

He said "both carried out espionage activities against Poland", but did not identify them.

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "We have no comment for the time being".

Orange Polska said in a statement security services had on Tuesday gathered materials related to an employee, whom it did not identify. Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his work at Orange or elsewhere.

Britain's largest mobile provider BT said last month that it would remove Huawei equipment from its cellular network after the foreign intelligence service called the company a security risk.

The Polish announcement comes weeks after Canada arrested Huawei vice president Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating Iran sanctions.

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