ED files first charge sheet against Chinese smartphone maker vivo-India, among others

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The Enforcement Directorate had raided vivo-India and its linked persons in July last year. File
| Photo Credit: Reuters

The prosecution complaint has been filed before a special court in New Delhi on December 6 under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and vivo-India has been named an accused apart from those arrested in this case, the sources told PTI.

Also read:India accuses China’s Vivo of visa violations, siphoning off $13 billion

The federal probe agency arrested four persons, including the managing director of the Lava International mobile company Hari Om Rai, in this investigation. The others who were taken into custody were Chinese national Guangwen alias Andrew Kuang, Chartered Accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik.

The ED had then claimed in its remand papers before a local court in New Delhi that the alleged activities of the four enabled vivo-India to make wrongful gains that were detrimental to the economic sovereignty of India.

It had raided vivo-India and its linked persons in July last year, claiming to have busted a major money laundering racket involving Chinese nationals and multiple Indian companies.

The ED had then alleged that a whopping ₹62,476 crore was “illegally” transferred by vivo-India to China to avoid payment of taxes in India. The company had said that it “firmly adheres to its ethical principles and remains dedicated to legal compliance.” Mr. Rai had recently told a court in New Delhi that though his company and vivo-India were in talks to launch a joint venture in India a decade ago, he had nothing to do with the Chinese firm or its representatives since 2014.

“He has not derived any monetary benefit, nor has he engaged in any transaction with vivo-India or any entity allegedly related to vivo, let alone having been associated with any alleged ‘proceeds of crime’,” Mr. Rai’s lawyer told the court.

The agency filed an enforcement case information report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR, on February 3 after studying a Delhi Police FIR of December last year against an associated company of vivo-India, Grand Prospect International Communication Pvt. Ltd. (GPICPL), its directors, shareholders and some others professionals.

The police complaint was filed by the Corporate Affairs Ministry alleging that GPICPL and its shareholders used “forged” identification documents and “falsified” addresses at the time of incorporation of the company in December 2014.

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