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Wanzhou Meng arrested on suspicion of violating trade sanctions against Iran: report
Canadian officials have arrested Wanzhou Meng, the chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of the board for the Chinese tech giant Huawei, CBC News has confirmed.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice, Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday and is being sought for extradition by the United States. A bail hearing has been set for Friday.
The statement said Meng sought, and was granted, a publication ban which prevents the department from releasing further details about the arrest.
The Globe and Mail reported earlier Wednesday that she was arrested on suspicion of violating U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.
U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 on allegations that it shipped U.S.-derived tech products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.
Huawei released a statement saying its CFO was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver and is facing charges in “the Eastern District of New York.”
“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng. The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion,” the statement said.
“Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, U.S. and EU.”
Global concerns over Huawei
Britain’s BT Group said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei Technologies’ equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the new network.
New Zealand and Australia have stopped telecom operators from using Huawei’s equipment in new 5G networks because they are concerned about possible Chinese government involvement in their communications infrastructure.
Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations.
Earlier this year, two U.S. senators wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warning him that doing business with the Chinese telecom giant would open Canada up to a huge security risk.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner want Canada to follow the U.S. and Australia and block Huawei from supplying equipment that would connect Canadians to the high-speed mobile network known as 5G.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Ottawa released a statement protesting Meng’s arrest, which it said “seriously harmed” her “human rights.”
“The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the U.S. and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.”