US probe of China's Huawei includes bank fraud accusations: sources

A woman walks by a Huawei logo at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China. [Photo: Reuters]
WASHINGTON- Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer was arrested as part of a US investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade US sanctions against Iran, according to people familiar with the probe.

The United States has been looking since at least 2016 into whether Huawei shipped US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.

More recently, the probe has included whether the company used HSBC Holdings Plc to conduct illegal transactions involving Iran, the people said.

Companies are barred from using the US financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities. If the mobile phone and telecoms equipment maker conducted such transactions and then misled HSBC about their true nature, it could be guilty of bank fraud, experts say.

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Huawei declined to comment, but said in a statement after the arrest that it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations.

An HSBC spokesperson declined to comment. HSBC is not under investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

HSBCHuawei TechnologiesIranUnited StatesChina