Huawei has links with companies in Iran, Syria: Reuters report

Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh and James Pomfret of Reuters reported that they identified a link between Huawei and two front companies in Iran and Syria — impacting the business of the telecom network supplier.
Huawei CFO Meng WanzhouThe United States will be able to strengthen its case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested and released on bail in Canada.

ZTE, another China-based telecom network supplier, had earlier faced business pressure and penalty from the US due to its alleged supply of telecom gear to Iran.

The new document shows the link of Huawei Technologies with equipment seller Skycom Tech in Tehran and shell company Canicula Holdings, a holding company registered in Mauritius.

U.S. authorities allege CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran by claiming the two companies were independent of Huawei. Huawei in fact controlled them. Huawei has maintained the two are independent.

Corporate filings and other documents in Iran and Syria show that Huawei is closely linked to both firms. The documents reveal that a high-level Huawei executive has appointed Skycom’s Iran manager. At least three Chinese-named individuals had signing rights for both Huawei and Skycom bank accounts in Iran.

Reuters also discovered that a Middle Eastern lawyer said Huawei conducted operations in Syria through Canicula.

U.S. authorities assert Huawei retained control of Skycom, using it to sell telecom equipment to Iran and move money out via the international banking system. U.S. authorities say banks unwittingly cleared hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions that potentially violated economic sanctions against doing business with Iran.

Meng was released on $7.5 million bail on Dec. 11 and remains in Vancouver while Washington tries to extradite her. In the United States, Meng would face charges in connection with an alleged conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

Articles published by Reuters in 2012 here and 2013 here about Huawei, Skycom and Meng figure prominently in the U.S. case against her.