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Poland spy arrest: China telecoms firm Huawei sacks employee

12 January 2019

Another Huawei executive has been arrested, this time in Poland on espionage charges, following the high-profile arrest of the company's chief financial officer on bank fraud charges in Canada last month.

Now the Polish counterintelligence agency believes it has hard evidence of Huawei's employees' wrongdoings.

"On Tuesday, the ABW (Internal Security Agency) officials conducted actions, as a result of which, we handed over belongings of one of our employees", a spokesperson for the telecom said in an emailed statement.

The pair are set to remain in custody for at least three months and apparently face up to ten years in prison.

Europe should be "worried" about Huawei and other Chinese companies, given the mandatory cooperation they have to maintain with Chinese intelligence services, European Commission Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said on Friday (7 December).

"This incident created harmful effects on Huawei's global reputation", the company said. Further, the Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer said it complies with all laws in the countries it operates in and requires employees do the same. The person has yet to be named by Poland officials, but WSJ's sources claim that the man is Weijing Wang, and is known as Stainslaw Wang in Poland.

The detainees were charged with Article 130 paragraph 1 of espionage against the Republic of Poland. "These are two separate issues" Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for Poland's special services said.

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An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw said China attaches "great importance to the detention" of the Chinese citizen in Poland and that Chinese envoys had met with Polish Foreign Ministry officials to urge them to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible".

Past year, the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the director of national intelligence all warned US citizens not to use Huawei products.

Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his professional duties and that it was working with the country's security agency.

Huawei has found itself in the centre of a trade war between the United States and China.

As of 2017, companies under Chinese law are required to "support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work".

The news outlet says "Piotr D" left the AWB following allegations of corruption, but was never formally charged.

In what was widely seen as retaliation by Beijing, two Canadians - a former diplomat and a business consultant - were detained in China on the grounds of national security.

Poland spy arrest: China telecoms firm Huawei sacks employee