U.S. DoJ accuses Huawei, Meng Wanzhou of breaching Iran sanctions

U.S. DoJ accuses Huawei, Meng Wanzhou of breaching Iran sanctions

The U.S. Department of Justice [DoJ] has charged Huawei with fraud and conspiracy to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile. The DoJ disclosed two indictments against the Chinese tech giant and many of its subsidiaries, according to a CNBC report. The indictments also contained allegations against Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO, who is currently under arrest in Canada at the request of U.S.

The indictments accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. The history of Huawei and T-Mobile controversy dates back to 2014 when a lawsuit was filed by T-Mobile over a robot called Tappy which was used in testing smartphones. T-Mobile claimed that the Chinese company tried to gain more knowledge of the robot, Tappy, by asking the mobile carrier company how the robot worked. Huawei also asked them to take pictures of the robot from various angles.

Meng, Huawei and a Hong Kong-based subsidiary, Skycom Technologies were charged with bank and wire fraud. The U.S. Eastern District Office alleged that the accused conspired to launder money and breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act [IEEPA] by conducting business with sanctioned Iran.

Huawei lied to banks saying that Skycom was a local business partner of the company in Iran. Under this cover, the company exported U.S. origin products and services to Iran. The company is also charged with misrepresenting four financial institutions.

“Had the [banks] known about Huawei’s repeated violations of the [Iran sanctions] they would have re-evaluated their banking relationships with Huawei, including the provision of U.S.-dollar and Euro clearing service to Huawei,” the indictment reads.

The indictment goes on to say that one of the banks cut off its banking ties with the company. The bank was worried about the connections of the company to Iran via Skycom. The indictment added that the company misrepresented the reasons for severed banking ties with the financial firm.

Huawei expressed deep disappointment over the U.S. allegations against the company. In a statement reviewed by CNBC, the company said,” After Ms. Meng’s arrest, the Company sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.”

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