The United States case filed against Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies brand, focuses on the company’s suspected ties to two potentially law-breaking businesses. One of these companies is a Tehran telecom equipment seller, while the other is the telecom company’s owner; a holding organization registered in Mauritius.
United States authorities are alleging Meng Wanzhou has deceived international banks in clearing Iranian transactions under the false pretenses that the two companies were separate from Huawei Technologies. However, Huawei controlled them. Huawei continues to maintain that the two Iranian companies are independent of the technology company: Canicula Holdings Ltd. and a telecom equipment seller, Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.
Corporate filings, amongst other documents found by Reuters in both Syria and Iran, clearly show that Huawei, who is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications networking equipment, is linked closer to the companies than previously expected.
The documents show that a higher-level Huawei executive has been appointed Skycom’s Iranian manager and also indicates that a minimum of three Chinese Huawei associates have signing rights for Huawei and Skycom bank accounts located in Iran. Reuters also uncovered information stating that Middle Eastern lawyers have claimed Huawei conducted business in Syria through Canicula.
It’s possible that the unreported ties between the two Iranian companies and Huawei might impact the U.S. case against CFO Meng Wanzhou. Meng is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei. These unreported ties undermine Huawei’s claims that Skycom was an “arms-length” business associate.
U.S. authorities believe that Huawei took control of Skycom and used it to sell telecom equipment within Iran, enabling them to move funds out through the international banking channels. Due to the deception, United States authorities state that banks processed hundreds of millions worth of transactions that may have violated economic sanctions that Washington had against conducting business with Iran at the time.
Presently, Meng did not wish to respond to any requests for comments, and Huawei refused to answer questions. Iranian’s Canicula offices were not able to be reached, and a Washington Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.