ED raids 44 premises of Vivo India in a money laundering probetext_fields
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided 44 places related to Chinese smartphone manufacturing company Vivo in a money-laundering probe.
Locations in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Maharashtra among others were searched. Firms related to Vivo were also raided under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The central agency has filed a case against a distributor in Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly forging identity-related documents. The distributor showed itself as a subsidiary of Vivo China and submitted fake documents on Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie, two of the shareholders of Vivo.
Investigators suspect that the alleged forgery was done to launder illegally generated funds using shell or paper companies. Some of the proceeds of crime were diverted abroad or to businesses.
The move against Vivo is being considered part of the Centre's crackdown against Chinese firms and their Indian associates. The Union Government has suggested that such operations are engaging in financial crimes like money laundering and tax evasion.
Vivo is also gearing up to launch some new products in India. The company has recently announced a series of flagship smartphones with the aim of solidifying its position in the premium smartphone space.
The ED is also investigating another Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi India and seized over Rs 5,551 crore for violating the Indian foreign exchange law. Huge amounts were disguised as royalties. The smartphone company denied the claims and said all operations have been under the laws of the Indian market.
Last year, the Income Tax Department raided the premises of several Chinese smartphone manufacturers, their distributors, and associates across India. The agency claimed to have found alleged unaccounted income worth over Rs 6,500 crore.