ED Slaps Money-Laundering Charges On Chinese Smartphone Giant Vivo

In a startling development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo, accusing the company of money laundering.

What Happened? According to The Hindu BusinessLine report on Wednesday, Vivo, which along with two other Chinese firms dominates 74% of the Indian cellphone market, has allegedly siphoned off about Rs 1 lakh crore from India through shell companies. The charge sheet has been filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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The charge sheet also implicates Hari Om Rai, founder and managing director of Lava International, and Chinese national Guangwen Kyang alias Andrew Kuang, among others, for facilitating Vivo in these illegal activities. Reportedly, the Chinese company established approximately 19 shell companies to launder the money earned from business operations in India and then transferred it overseas.

What are the accusations? Although Vivo maintains its commitment to ethical principles and legal compliance, the ED claims that the company illegally transferred ₹62,476 crore to evade tax payments in India. This alleged illicit activity spanned seven years, beginning in 2014.

The ED initiated this case on February 3, following a Delhi Police FIR against Vivo’s associate company, Grand Prospect International Communication Pvt Ltd (GPICPL), and its directors and shareholders.

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