A Chinese Huawei employee and a former Polish security services officer have been arrested in Poland on allegations of spying, raising further questions for the telecoms group amid global scrutiny of its business practices.
Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesperson for Poland’s minister for special services, said that the agency had evidence that both men were “conducting spying activities against Poland”.
A director for Huawei in Poland, a Chinese national named as Weijing W, and Piotr D, a former special services officer, will be held under arrest for three months. They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
The arrests come as governments around the world have raised concerns about using telecoms equipment provided by Huawei, which has already been in effect shut out of supplying telecoms infrastructure to countries such as the US over allegations of links to Chinese state.
Last month, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada over allegations of breaking US sanctions on Iran. Huawei has always denied any link to the Chinese government or security services.
According to the public TV channel TVP, security services searched the Polish offices of Huawei Technologies and Orange, French telecoms company, as well as Poland’s Agency for Electronic Communications, where Piotr D has been employed after leaving special services. Orange was not immediately available for comment.
Mr Zaryn said that Piotr D “held important positions in public institutions”.
Huawei said in a statement that it was “aware of the situation”. It added: “Huawei 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 ministry of foreign affairs said: “We are currently looking into the situation.”