China-based equipment maker Huawei, whose CFO was arrested in Canada for allegedly violating trade sanctions, is believed to have closer ties to two companies at the centre of the US Department of Justice’s investigation than previously disclosed, Reuters reported.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained in Vancouver on 1 December and faces possible extradition to the US. She was released on bail by a Canadian court after being held for ten days.
US authorities allege she misled international banks about Iran-linked transactions involving Skycom Tech and maintain Huawei controlled the company, using it to sell equipment to Iran.
The vendor insists the company was a business partner and that the two companies are independent.
In addition to ties to Tehran-based Skycom Tech, Reuters found links to the company’s owner, Canicula Holdings, a shell entity registered in Mauritius.
The news agency said it unearthed documents in Iran and Syria that appear to show a senior Huawei executive working as a Skycom Tech manager in Iran. It also found at least three people with Chinese names with signing rights for both Huawei and Skycom Tech bank accounts in Iran.
Reuters also reported a Middle Eastern lawyer said Huawei directed operations in Syria via Canicula Holdings.
At the time of Meng’s arrest, Huawei said it received very little information regarding the charges against her and was “not aware of any wrongdoing” by its CFO.
Her arrest has further damaged US-China relations, which have deteriorated in recent months due to an escalating trade war. China’s government earlier called on Canada to immediately release Meng and subsequently detained at least 13 Canadian citizens, charging two with spying.Subscribe to our daily newsletter