U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations: sources
26 Apr 2018

U.S. prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether Chinese tech company Huawei [HWT.UL] violated U.S. sanctions in relation to Iran, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Since at least 2016, U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei’s alleged shipping of U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, two of the sources said.

News of the Justice Department probe follows a series of U.S. actions aimed at stopping or reducing access by Huawei and Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) to the U.S. economy amid allegations the companies could be using their technology to spy on Americans.

The Justice Department probe is being run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, the sources said. John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the investigation. The probe was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications network equipment and the No. 3 smartphone supplier, said it complies with “all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including the applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”

The probe of Huawei is similar to one that China’s ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) says is now threatening its survival. [nL3N1RX1NT]The United States last week banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. Washington accused ZTE of violating an agreement on punishing employees after the company illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran.

ZTE, which sells smartphones in the United States, paid $890 million in fines and penalties, with an additional penalty of $300 million that could be imposed.

U.S. authorities have subpoenaed Huawei seeking information related to possible export and sanctions violations, two sources said. The New York Times last April reported the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control subpoena, issued in December 2016, following a Commerce Department subpoena that summer.

– Reuters, 25 April 2018

Link to the Reuters article.

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