Huawei is now facing fraud charges after several years of intense scrutiny from US authorities. Earlier in the week, a bail hearing was held for Huawei’s chief financial officer, security agents detained in Vancouver at the request of the US. The executive, Meng Wanzhou is facing possible extradition to the US for attempting to defraud financial institutions as reported by the star.
The bail hearing attracted a massive crowd to the courthouse after the arrest that has received much attention from the media. The defendant Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, whose ties with the Chinese Communist Party has helped spark suspicions within the US intelligence community. Meng also serves on the Chinese tech company’s board as deputy chair.
A New York court issued to US authorities an arrest warrant for the defendant on earlier this year. It has 60 days from the time of her arrest to provide the Canadian courts with sufficient evidence and intent.
Meng was held in Canada during from Hong Kong to Mexico. Canadian prosecutors discovered that Meng used to make trips to the US regularly and has a son schooling in the country however she stopped making these trips the same period the US Justice Department began investigating Huawei. Suspicions also increased when other executives at the company continued making trips to the US after investigations started. This situation made Meng a person of interest.
Meng has previously worked in high-level management at Skycom a Hong Kong-based firm that supposedly worked with the Iranian government until 2014. US banks also did business with Huawei during this period thus indirectly violating Iranian sanctions, and Meng, therefore, committed fraud against these financial institutions. Skycom allegedly had ties with Huawei, and during the bail hearing, Canadian prosecutor, John Gibb – Carsley pointed out that Skycom was an unofficial subordinate company of Huawei as both firms shared the same logo. According to the prosecutor “Huawei is Skycom,” he further added, ” This is the crux, I say of the alleged fraud.”
According to TheVerge, Huawei said “The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng. The company believes the Canadian and US legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US, and EU.” The company, however, did not make any comments about the hearing.
In Huawei and Meng’s defence, her attorney, David Martin provided a 5-year-old PowerPoint presentation which his client had used to explain to a Hong Kong bank that her father’s firm had not violated US sanctions.
The court proceedings also attempted to know if the defendant might be a flight risk if she was released on a $1 million bail.
However, her lawyer argued that the Chinese had a culture of saving “face” and how Meng would not want to dent the image of her father and his company. He also added that ” she would not embarrass China itself.”
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Originally Authored By: Abiodun Adewusi