WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland has arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a Polish cyber business specialist on allegations of spying, state news agency PAP said on Friday, deepening the controversy over Western criticism of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker.
Polish public TV channel TVP also said security services had searched the local offices of Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd [HWT.UL], as well as the Polish offices of telecoms firm Orange. Huawei and Orange could not immediately be reached for comment.
In December, Canadian authorities arrested a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, at the behest of U.S. authorities as part of an investigation into alleged violations of U.S. trade sanctions.
U.S. intelligence agencies allege Huawei is linked to China’s government and that its equipment could contain “backdoors” for use by government spies. No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims.
The U.S. criticism has led to a number of Western countries and companies to review whether they should allow Huawei’s equipment to be used in their telecoms networks.
“The Chinese national is a businessman working in a major electronics company … the Pole is a person known in circles associated with cyber business,” Maciej Wasik, the deputy head of Poland’s special services, told PAP.
The arrested pair will be held for three months, PAP reported, citing the spokesperson for Poland’s head of special services.
TVP said the Polish national was a former agent of the internal security agency. The agency did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Alison Williams and Mark Potter