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The United States is cracking down on the Chinese telecom firm Huawei on Monday.

It laid criminal charges against the company for allegedly committing fraud and stealing trade secrets. Among the executives charged is CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Meng Wanzhou, who was out on bail in Vancouver following her arrest in December.

The US says that Meng Wanzhou was at the center of an elaborate bank and wire fraud scheme designed to get around US sanctions against Iran.

Now, according to the indictment that was released on Monday, it was a complicated scheme but essentially the US alleges that Meng and other defendants did get around those sanctions by misrepresenting a company called Skycom as a separate company from Huawei, when they say Huawei essentially owned a Skycom.

But Huawei lied about that relationship; the US alleges that among Meng Wanzhou and others were able to transfer money between Iran and the Skycom Company in violation of US sanctions.

Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said, “We are deeply grateful to the government of Canada for its assistance and its steadfast commitments to the rule of law.”

So on the acknowledgement of what Canada has done on behalf of the United States in this case, which has obviously affected Canada’s relationship with China, Whitaker also reaffirmed that the US is seeking extradition and would formally file the paperwork to do that by Tuesday, a deadline that was set by Canada.

(Harleen Sandhu)

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