Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies at the request of U.S. authorities who suspect her of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported Wednesday.
Meng Wanzhou, who is also deputy chair of Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver and is facing extradition to the U.S., justice department spokesperson Ian McLeod said in a statement to Radio Canada International.
“Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday,” McLeod said. “As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.”
The Globe and Mail cited an anonymous source “with knowledge of the arrest” saying that U.S. law enforcement authorities are alleging that Meng tried to evade the U.S. trade embargo against Iran, but provided no further details.
Radio Canada International has been unable to confirm this information independently.
According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran.
The Trump administration also has cited Huawei as a threat to American leadership in the race to develop the future of mobile communication, the Wall Street Journal reported in April.
The Trump administration has put pressure on Canada and other allies not use Huawei equipment in their new 5G telecommunications networks.
In October, in a letter to Prime Minister Justin TrudeauUS Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner expressed “grave concerns” about the possibility of Chinese government interference in the Canadian telecommunications network.
On Wednesday, UK telecoms group BT confirmed that it would not buy equipment from Huawei in an another major blow to the company.
Australia banned Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, from building their 5G network in August, citing security concerns.