The US government probe that led to the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou last weekend is investigating the telecoms giant’s use of the global banking system to skirt US sanctions against Iran, sources told Reuters.
Washington has been monitoring Huawei’s logistical relationships with Iran and other US-sanctioned markets since 2016, but the inquiry has recently expanded to explore whether the company used banking group HSBC to process transactions tied to Iran, the sources said.
Under US law, it is illegal to use the US banking system to sell goods and services to sanctioned parties. Investigators are considering the possibility that Huawei misled HSBC in order to complete such transactions, which would constitute bank fraud.
Both HSBC and Huawei have so far declined to comment on the reports.