Huawei exec faces United States fraud charges linked to Iran

Russian FM Lavrov holds a news conference on the sidelines of OSCE summit in Milan

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested Saturday while in transit at Vancouver's airport.

A prosecutor for the Canadian government urged the court not to grant bail, saying the charges against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for Chinese telecom giant Huawei, involve USA allegations that Huawei used a shell company to access the Iran market in dealings that contravene United States sanctions.

He also outlined the Byzantine structure and what he called a constantly changing nature of US sanctions against Iran.

She allegedly assured USA banks that Huawei and Skycom were different companies but prosecutors say they were one and the same. He said her actions exposed the banks to potential fines for violating US sanctions. SkyCom is believed to be an unofficial subsidiary of Huawei, though the companies do not claim to be connected.

A lawyer for Meng denied the allegations, called the charges against her "preposterous", and urged the court to release her on bail. She faces multiple charges, each carrying a penalty of up to 30 years in prison upon conviction.

Huawei sold Skycom before the sanctions became law in the United States under president Barack Obama in 2010, he said.

The company has said it is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng. This is also believed to have helped Huawei "circumvent USA sanctions by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company".

"In the negotiations, of course, they'll push that across the table and make it as embarrassing for the Canadians as possible", he said.

He said there is incentive for Meng to leave Canada, telling the court her father's net worth is $3.2 billion and she has no meaningful connection to Canada, apart from spending two to three weeks on vacation in Vancouver every summer.

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But now, after Meng appeared in a BC courtroom on Friday for a bail hearing and the publication ban was lifted, reasons for Meng's arrest are being brought to light.

Federal regulators are also in the process of implementing rules that would bar Huawei for rolling out fifth-generation, or 5G, networks in the United States.

China said Meng has broken no USA or Canadian law.

Australia and New Zealand have already said they will not use Huawei for 5G networks.

"The Chinese obviously are not happy that this woman was grabbed at the airport in Vancouver, but they also recognize that there [were] judicial proceedings in the US, that there was an worldwide mandate to grab her that had been issued", Ken Courtis chairman, Starfort Holdings told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Friday.

Meng's bio on the company website says she joined in 1993 and held various positions across the company, including director of worldwide accounting and CFO of Huawei Hong Kong.

"China talks are going very well!"

The Trump administration has tightened regulations on high-tech exports to China and made it harder for Chinese firms to invest in US companies or to buy American technology in cutting-edge areas like robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Ms Meng, who also used the English names Cathy and Sabrina, served on the board of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records.

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