Exclusive: U.S. probe of China’s Huawei includes bank fraud accusations: sources


A woman walks by a Huawei logo at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer was arrested as part of a U.S. investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The United States has been looking into whether Huawei Technologies Ltd violated U.S. sanctions against Iran since at least 2016 and more recently the company’s use of HSBC Holdings Plc to make illegal transactions involving Iran.

In 2012, HSBC paid $1.92 billion and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn for violating U.S. sanctions and money-laundering laws.

An HSBC spokesperson declined to comment. Huawei also declined to comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, which Reuters has reported is investigating Huawei, declined to comment.

HSBC is not under investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Chris Sanders and Jonathan Oatis

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