22 Aug 2019
U.S.-based Citigroup Inc (C.N) and French bank BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) are caught up in the U.S. criminal case against the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies, according to newly available documents.
The banks were named in documents released on Tuesday after a hearing in British Columbia Supreme Court, where Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is fighting extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges.
The two are among at least four financial institutions that had banking relationships with Huawei when Meng and others allegedly misled them about its business dealings in Iran despite U.S. sanctions.
The banks are considered “victim” institutions in the 13-count indictment the United States brought against Meng and Huawei, which includes charges of bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran and obstructing justice.
Both she and Huawei have denied wrongdoing.
Spokespeople for Citigroup, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, and HSBC all declined to comment, as did a spokesman for U.S. prosecutors. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the newly public information.
The British Columbia court made public hundreds of pages of documents and other materials, including video of Meng’s detention, in advance of a hearing scheduled to begin Sept. 23 in Vancouver.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December on a U.S. warrant and her lawyers argue she was unlawfully detained. They claim Canadian authorities delayed her arrest to allow the border patrol to gather evidence for the United States as part of a “covert criminal investigation.”
By Karen Freifeld, Reuters, 21 August 2019
Read more at Reuters
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