Huawei has links with companies in Iran, Syria: Reuters report
11 Janvier, 2019, 19:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
According to several sources, the DOJ believes Huawei used Skycom as a secretive front for selling telecom infrastructure in Iran, thus directly violating the Commerce Department trade embargoes placed on the country, in addition to actively working to hide that fact from banks and other institutions that were likely to report it for its alleged transgressions.
The previously unreported ties between Huawei and the two companies could bear on the United States case against Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, by further undermining Huawei's claims that Skycom was merely an arms-length business partner.
According to the Reuters report banks cleared hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions to Iran throughout the period of the deception.
Documents from a case brought by USA authorities against Chinese tech giant Huawei suggest that the company was using front companies in Iran and Syria to circumvent US sanctions against those countries.
Huawei is not the first Chinese telecoms equipment firm to face the ire of United States authorities.
According to the latest report from Reuters, documents found in Iran and Syria show that a high-ranking Huawei executive managed Skycom's business in Iran. Additionally, three unnamed Chinese individuals were on the signature card for Huawei and Skycom bank accounts in Iran. And Meng sat on Skycom's board between February 2008 and April 2009.
The data show that Skycom was then sold in 2007 to Canicula, which held the Skycom shares for about 10 years. Skycom was liquidated in June 2017. And even though the outcome of her case has a direct impact on any potential punishment Huawei could be hit with moving forward, it doesn't guarantee it in any shape or form as much could depend on whether US prosecutors can prove other senior officials were involved or had knowledge of the affair as well. The US has been rallying against Chinese telecom equipment companies, namely Huawei and ZTE, amid escalating trade tensions with China. Payments were taken out of the country using the global banking system.
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The previously unreported ties between Huawei and the two companies could bear on the USA case against Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, by further undermining Huawei's claims that Skycom was merely an arms-length business partner. In May 2014, a Middle Eastern business website called Aliqtisadi.com published a brief article about the dissolution of a Huawei company in Syria that specialized in automated teller machine (ATM) equipment.
Until two years ago, Canicula had an office in Syria, another country that has been subject to USA and European Union sanctions. Osama Karawani, an attorney who was identified as the appointed liquidator, wrote a letter asking for a correction, stating that the article had caused "serious damage" to Huawei. In his letter, which was linked to on the Aliqtisadi website, he said Huawei was still in business. Ltd. and Canicula Holdings Ltd., the two companies operating in Iran and Syria. The world's largest telecom hardware manufacturer remains adamant it doesn't control the companies in question and is still insisting it has no evidence of any wrongdoing on Ms. Meng's part.
Karawani didn't respond to emailed questions from Reuters about Canicula. Though Huawei had apparently tried to cover its tracks - presumably after catching wind of the U.S. investigation - by publishing notices proclaiming that Canicula was no longer operating in Syria.
The subsidiary, Canicula, is connected to Iran through MTN Syria, which has a subsidiary that operates in Iran.
An official with MTN said no one at the company was available to comment.
In May, the Pentagon said that devices from Huawei and ZTE posed an "unacceptable" security risk. He was not named. No explanation was given.
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