Poland arrests Huawei employee on spying charges

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The detention comes after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of USA law enforcement officials.

Local media identified the firm as Huawei Technologies Co and said the suspect was the sales director of its office in Poland.

A spokesman for the agency, Stanislaw Zaryn, said the two were arrested on Tuesday. No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims. Polish security agents also searched the Warsaw offices of Huawei and Orange, Poland's leading communications provider, where the former Polish spy recently worked, seizing documents and electronic data.

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China's foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly".

Huawei said in a brief statement that the company was "aware of the situation" and "looking into it" but had no further comment for now.

The company said it "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". The Chinese national was a sales director, though the Polish national's role is unclear.

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This has sparked fears Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate "backdoors" into their equipment that would allow Beijing access, for spying or sabotage purposes. As well as producing smartphones, the Chinese corporation develops mobile network infrastructure used in many countries, which some nations see as a potential security risk.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special service, said the two arrested men "carried out espionage activities against Poland" and the operation to arrest them was underway for a long time.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray said in February that they were concerned about allowing a company "that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

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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.

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