Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou’s three Hong Kong passports due to name changes, husband confirms with Canadian court
- Judge dismisses suggestions Meng holds multiple valid travel documents from the city, but executive does hold a passport from both mainland China and Hong Kong
Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou held three Hong Kong passports because of name changes, a Canadian court has been told, confirming an earlier report in the Post.
Mr Justice William Ehrcke dismissed suggestions that Meng held multiple valid travel documents from the city. Only two legitimate passports were in her possession – one issued by mainland China and one from Hong Kong – he said on Wednesday morning Hong Kong time.
A document from the US Department of Justice earlier revealed that Meng, who has been released from detention in Canada, had been issued seven passports from mainland China and Hong Kong in the past 11 years. The department therefore argued she should be considered a flight risk.
Chinese citizens are not technically supposed to hold passports from both places. If a mainlander takes up permanent residency in Hong Kong, he or she is obligated to turn in their Chinese passport, but many retain the document until it expires.
A government source told the Post on Monday that Meng renewed her passport several times within a short period because she changed her name.
But according to an affidavit filed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia by Liu Xiaozong, Meng’s husband, two of the three Hong Kong passports were already invalid.
Liu said Meng applied for a second passport after their marriage so she could carry her husband’s last name. Her first passport, issued on December 18, 2011, was then rendered invalid for travel.
The second document showed it was issued on November 7, 2014, with the name Liu Meng Wanzhou.
However, Liu explained that Meng had been forced to apply for a third passport after Huawei pointed out the change in surname was not consistent with company records.
“I am informed by my wife and verily believe that the legal affairs department of the company requested she obtain a replacement passport reflecting the same name as in the company’s records,” Liu’s statement read.
The third passport, the one Meng is currently using, was issued to her on December 18, 2014.
Scanned copies of the first two Hong Kong passports provided to the court showed they had their corners cut, meaning they were invalid. Her current passport is good until December 18, 2021.
The city’s Immigration Department issued a statement on Monday night clarifying that only one of Meng’s Hong Kong passports remained valid.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also said only one Hong Kong passport in Meng’s possession was valid, while the rest had expired but may still hold valid visas.
Meng was released on C$10 million (US$7.46 million) bail on Wednesday morning Hong Kong time.
She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on December 1 at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges related to alleged breaches of US and European Union sanctions on Iran.
Ehrcke also ordered Meng wear a GPS ankle bracelet, submit to the supervision of a private security firm, and surrender her two passports.