New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has broadened its ongoing money laundering investigation into Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, making three fresh arrests on Saturday.
The identities of the newly detained individuals remain undisclosed, but officials confirmed their apprehension under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This latest development brings the total number of arrests in the case to seven.
Previously, the ED had detained four individuals linked to the case: Hari Om Rai (Managing Director of Lava International), Chinese national Guangwen (alias Andrew Kuang), and chartered accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik. These individuals, currently in judicial custody, are set to appear before Special Judge Kiran Gupta on February 19th, 2024.
Earlier this week, a Delhi court took cognizance of the ED’s chargesheet against Vivo-India and other implicated parties in the money laundering probe. The chargesheet alleges that the actions of the previously detained individuals resulted in illicit gains for Vivo-India, potentially harming India’s economic sovereignty.
The investigation began in July 2023, when the ED conducted raids on Vivo-India and its affiliates, uncovering a complex money laundering network involving Chinese nationals and several Indian companies. At the time, the ED accused Vivo-India of illegally transferring a staggering Rs 62,476 crore to China to avoid taxes in India.
Vivo-India has vehemently denied these allegations, insisting on its commitment to ethical practices and legal compliance.
The recent arrests and ongoing investigation suggest that the ED is intensifying its efforts to crack down on alleged financial malpractice by Vivo-India. As the case progresses, further details regarding the identities of the newly detained individuals and the specific charges against them are expected to emerge.
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