The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has apprehended four individuals, including a Chinese national, a managing director, a Chartered Accountant, and another individual, in connection with its money laundering investigation into the Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo, as per agency officials on Tuesday.
Among those detained are Guangwen Kyang, also known as Andrew Kuang (a Chinese citizen), Hari Om Rai (managing director of Lava International), chartered accountant Nitin Garg, and another private individual named Rajan Malik, Hindustan Times reported.
They were detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and are expected to be presented before a court where the ED will seek their custody.
The ED had conducted a raid on the company and its associated individuals in July of the previous year. On 5 July last year, the agency raided Vivo Mobiles India Pvt Ltd and 23 firms linked to it.
During that time, the ED stated that a company associated with Vivo, GPICPL (M/s Grand Prospects International Communication Pvt. Ltd.), was registered on 3 December 2014, at ROC Shimla, with registered addresses in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, and Gandhinagar, Jammu.
At that time, the ED alleged that Rs 62,476 crore had been "illegally transferred by Vivo to China in order to avoid payment of taxes in India." In 2022, the ED blocked 119 bank accounts associated with Vivo's India business, but a court later overturned this decision.
The company was incorporated by Chinese citizens Zhengshen Ou, Bin Lou, and Zhang Jie with the assistance of Nitin Garg, a chartered accountant. Bin Lou left India on 26 April 2018, while Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie left India in 2021.
The PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) investigation by the ED was initiated based on a Delhi Police case registered in 2021 against M/s Grand Prospect International Communication Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as M/s GPICPL) and its directors, shareholders, and certifying professionals. This was based on a complaint filed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
According to the FIR, GPICPL and its shareholders had used forged identification documents and falsified addresses at the time of incorporation. The investigation revealed that the addresses mentioned by the directors of GPICPL did not belong to them but were, in fact, a government building and the residence of a senior bureaucrat, as stated in an ED statement last year.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.