In money-laundering investigation, ED conducts searches on Vivo and connected companies

5 July, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

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Sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act are being used to conduct searches.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at 44 locations around the country on Tuesday as part of a money laundering probe into Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo and affiliated entities, according to officials.

The searches are being conducted in numerous states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and others, in accordance with parts of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

According to them, the agency is conducting searches at 44 locations affiliated to Vivo and other companies.

Sources’ question to Vivo did not generate a response. Once the corporation provides a statement, the news item will be updated.

After taking cognizance of a recent Delhi Police FIR against a distributor of the agency situated in Jammu and Kashmir, where it was alleged that a few Chinese shareholders in that company faked their identity credentials, the federal agency filed a money laundering investigation.

The ED believes that the alleged forgery was done to launder illegally generated funds through shell or paper firms, and that part of these “proceeds of crime” were shifted abroad or invested in other businesses in order to avoid Indian tax and enforcement agencies.

The operation is seen as part of the Union government’s ongoing crackdown on Chinese firms and their Indian operators who engage in major financial crimes such as money laundering and tax evasion while operating in India.

The Income Tax Department raided the offices of a number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers, distributors, and related associates across the country in December last year, claiming to have discovered alleged unaccounted income worth over Rs 6,500 crore due to violations of Indian tax law and regulations.