Huawei CFO Wanted by USA for Fraud, Bail Hearing Told

Huawei CFO Wanted by USA for Fraud, Bail Hearing Told

Huawei CFO Wanted by USA for Fraud, Bail Hearing Told

A federal prosecutor told a bail hearing for Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Friday that the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies is wanted in the United States on criminal allegations that Huawei used its subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iranian telecommunications companies between 2009 and 2014.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, 46, who is also the daughter of the company founder, was arrested on December 1 at the request of the United States.

If extradited to the US, Meng could face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

China says Meng - the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army - has violated no laws in Canada or the United States and has demanded her release.

A day-long hearing was adjourned until Monday, when the judge is expected to render a decision on bail.

The lawyer said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Reports from Reuters have previously suggested that over the past decade, Huawei has struck deals to resell embargoed technologies, owned by USA companies including Hewlett-Packard, to sanctioned telecom operators in Iran.

According to court documents, the United States learned of Meng's plans to stop over in Vancouver on route to a third country on November 29.

On Friday, Shenzhen-based Huawei agreed to take steps to mollify British concerns regarding security fears related to its equipment to avoid a ban from taking part in the UK's 5G mobile network plans.

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Le said Canada's arrest of Meng while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights. The prosecutor said she is accused of fraud. Until then, she will remain in custody.

"There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party - and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a "national champion" is no exception", U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio wrote in October in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Meng's lawyer said at the hearing that the fact that a person has extraordinary resources can not be a factor that would exclude them from bail.

Official details on the reasons for Meng's arrest have been slim, with the Star Vancouver reporting that U.S. authorities believe that Meng knew that a company called SkyCom, which did business with Iran while the country was under worldwide sanctions, was a subsidiary of Huawei until at least 2014.

U.S. investigators believe the misrepresentations induced the banks to provide services to Huawei despite the fact they were operating in sanctioned countries, Canadian court documents released yesterday showed.

"The Chinese government should seriously mull over the USA tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises", said the nationalist tabloid Global Times in an editorial.

The U.S. alleges that Huawei used an unofficial subsidiary called Skycom to do business in Iran for Iranian telecom companies, breaching U.S. and European sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, according to Crown attorney John Gibb-Carsley.

Officials from major U.S. companies who attended the event - a scheduled meeting of the local chapter of the USA department of state's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - voiced their concerns about a Chinese reprisal, two people with knowledge of the meeting said. Huawei is one of China's most highly valued companies. Huawei has said "the company has been provided with little information regarding the charges and it's not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

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