FBI investigating ZTE over surveillance equipment deal with Iran

ZTE is fast expanding its portfolio to Europe and the United States, but the Chinese company has now come under scrutiny from the FBI over reports that it sold computer equipment from American companies to Iran. According to a document obtained by The Smoking Gun, ZTE is trying to cover up details of a $130 million transaction with Iran that saw the Chinese company selling sophisticated surveillance equipment.

The equipment is said to be capable of monitoring landline telephones, cellphones, and internet connections. That equipment included products from several companies including Dell, Microsoft, and Oracle. ZTE is said to have been "concerned" following the Reuters report that detailed the transaction with Iran, afraid that it would no longer be able to "hide anything."

After the transaction was discovered in March, ZTE lawyers reportedly entertained the idea of shredding documents and lying to the US government in an attempt to obstruct the investigation into the matter. The FBI is currently looking into the issue following a testimony from Ashley Kyle Yablon, one of ZTE's lawyer. In addition, Yablon has allowed copies to be made of all his computer files relating to the case. Yablon still works at ZTE, with his lawyer declining to comment on the case when asked by Smoking Gun.

[via BBC]