Poland arrests Chinese businessman and Pole on espionage allegations

Poland's Internal Security Agency has arrested a Chinese businessman and a Polish citizen over espionage allegations, officials said on Friday.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's special services, said that the Chinese suspect was a businessman working for a major electronics corporation and the Pole was "known in circles associated with cyberbusiness affairs."

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Wasik said the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was carefully planned.

Local media identified the Chinese man as a Huawei official but the company has not confirmed the claim.

US intelligence agencies allege Huawei Technologies Cos Ltd has links to the Chinese government and that its equipment may have "back doors" for use by government spies.

In December, the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the US.

Local Huawei offices searched

Polish public TV channel TVP said security services had searched the local offices of Huawei and the offices of telecoms firm Orange Polska, where it has been reported the Polish national works.

Orange Polska said in a statement the security agency had on Tuesday gathered materials related to an employee, who it did not identify.

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The company added it did not know if the investigation was linked to the employee's professional work, and that it would continue to cooperate with the authorities.

Huawei 'aware of the situation'

Huawei, which makes telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics, said in a statement that it was "aware of the situation, and we are looking into it."

The company said it "complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based."

The Chinese government said it was "highly concerned" over reports of the arrest of a Chinese businessmen for alleged espionage.

"We require relevant countries to handle relevant cases fairly and in accordance with the law, and earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the person concerned," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a faxed statement to the AFP news agency.

law/msh (AFP, AP)