ED Chargesheet Against Chinese Phone Maker Vivo: ‘Crores Remitted Out Of India’

OB Bureau

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing money-laundering charges against Vivo, has filed a chargesheet against the Chinese smartphone maker.

ED has claimed that shell companies were used to remit Rs 1 lakh crore outside India between 2014 and 2021, Hindustan Times reported quoting people familiar with the development.

The chargesheet, filed before a special court in Delhi, has named several individuals including founder and MD of Lava International Hari Om Rai, who is accused of assisting Vivo; Guangwen Kyang alias Andrew Kuang, a Chinese national who allegedly played a key role in Vivo’s money-laundering activities; chartered accountant Nitin Garg, who worked for Vivo; statutory auditor of Lava Rajan Malik.

They were arrested in October under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Also named as an accused in the chargesheet is Vivo, as a company.

ED’s investigation has revealed that Vivo incorporated 19 more companies in different cities following its entry into India in 2014. The directors and/or shareholders of these companies had Chinese nationals as their directors and/or shareholders, who controlled the supply chain of Vivo Mobiles in India.

“In order to avoid taking government approval, Vivo China devised a plan whereby they entered India under the garb of wholesale cash and carry business as part of criminal conspiracy to conceal its real ownership, control and nature of activities from Indian government authorities and entered India through automatic route,” ED, which initiated the probe in 2022, said in a statement in October.

“Vivo firmly adheres to its ethical principles and remains dedicated to legal compliance. The recent arrest deeply concerns us. We will exercise all available legal options,” Vivo said in October.

The central agency had raided offices of Vivo and associate companies in July last year.

Vivo is yet to respond on ED’s chargesheet.

OB Bureau

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