Poland police has arrested two people for conducting espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, the Polish TV channel TVP has reported via BBC.
One is a Chinese man who is the head of Huawei’s sales in the country, according to The New York Times, while the other is a Polish national and employee of the telecoms provider Orange Polska. The network has recently worked with Huawei to build its next-generation 5G network
The arrests come amid fears that Huawei equipment could be used to spy on behalf of the Chinese government when used to build a country’s communications infrastructure. The US has reportedly considered explicitly banning the use of the company’s equipment from such networks, and it has also pressured its allies to do the same.
According to the reports of The New York Times the Polish government has identified the Huawei employee as Weijing W, and Polish television said that he worked for the Chinese Consulate in Gdansk, Poland, before joining Huawei in 2011. Meanwhile, the Polish national has been identified as Piotr D., and was employed at Poland’s internal security agency, the ABW, before leaving over corruption allegations. The deputy head of Poland’s special services, Maciej Wasik, said that Piotr had access to information about the country’s secure internal communications systems while at the ABW
Polish authorities have searched the homes of both men, along with the offices of Huawei, Orange, and the Polish telecommunications regulator, according to TVP. If found guilty, both men could face prison sentences of up to 10 years.
Huawei said in a statement that it 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 foreign ministry said it was, highly concerned about the arrests. Orange Polska confirmed that its offices had been searched, but it could not say whether the investigation was linked to Piot D.’s professional work. On Saturday, The Guardian reported that Huawei has fired Weijing.