Image: FILE PHOTO: Journalists follow the presentation of a Huawei smartphone ahead of the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, Germany, September 2, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the United States, Canada’s Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said. Reuters was unable to determine the precise nature of the violations.
Meng Wanzhou, who is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on Dec. 1 and a court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice Department spokesman said.
Huawei confirmed the arrest in a statement and said that it has been provided little information of the charges against Meng, adding that it was “not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.”
U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.
The U.S. Justice Department probe is being run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, the sources said.
Officials for the U.S. Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn also declined to comment.
In January 2013, Reuters reported that a Hong Kong-based firm that attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator had much closer ties to China’s Huawei Technologies than was previously known.
The news comes the same day Britain’s BT Group <BT.L> said it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the Chinese company in central parts of the next network.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Sonya Hepinstall)
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