CFO for Huawei Technologies arrested in Vancouver, sought for extradition

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Wanzhou Meng, chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of Huawei Technologies Co., has been arrested in Vancouver and is facing potential extradition to the U.S.as American authorities investigate the company for potential violations of Iran sanctions.

According to a statement obtained by the Richmond News from the Department of Justice Canada, Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1.

He refused to provide any details on the circumstances of the Chinese executive's arrest, saying that she was "sought for extradition by the United States".

But Huawei said in a statement that it had been provided "very little information regarding the charges" and was not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.

Daily December E-mini S&P 500 Index
Daily December E-mini S&P 500 Index

The statement said that Meng was taken into custody when she was transferring flights in Canada.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest said US law enforcement authorities are alleging that Ms. Meng tried to evade the USA trade embargo against Iran but provided no further details.

Officials for the Canadian and US Justice Departments did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile unconfirmed reports surfaced in April that the U.S. was investigating Huawei for possibly violating Iran export bans, a scenario that got fellow Chinese firm ZTE into significant trouble earlier this year.

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In April, China appealed to Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following the Wall Street Journal report that US authorities were investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran amid spiraling technology tensions.

Canada's The Globe and Mail reported that Wanzhou Meng was arrested four days ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported the USA government was trying to persuade companies in allied countries to avoid Huawei. "The company believes the Canadian and USA legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion".

"While we lifted the ban on ZTE, the department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE's actions to ensure compliance with all USA laws and regulations", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the time.

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The NPRM had suggested that Universal Service Fund (USF) funding not be spent on "equipment or services from suppliers that pose a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain", with the FCC including direct references to Huawei and ZTE.

The Chinese telecommunications giant is now in partnership with Canadian universities across the country as well as companies such as Telus, with whom it is developing 5G networks in Canada.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand were among the nations to ban the use of Huawei's equipment due to security concerns.

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