Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s chief financial officer faces US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran, a Canadian court heard Friday (Dec 7), a week after she was detained on an American extradition request.
Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada’s Pacific coast city of Vancouver on December 1 while changing planes during a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico – ratcheting tensions between the United States and China just as the countries’ leaders agreed a truce in their trade war.
A Canadian government lawyer asked the court to deny her bail, saying she has been accused of “conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions” and, if convicted, faces more than 30 years in prison. She is specifically accused of lying to US banks about the use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran in breach of sanctions.
China says Meng – the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army – has violated no laws in Canada or the United States and has demanded her release. Washington and Beijing have exchanged steep tariffs on more than US$300 billion (S$410.9 billion) in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits.
Her appearance at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver is a prelude to an extradition process that could take months.