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ED files chargesheet against Vivo, Lava for money laundering, tax evasion shenanigans

According to official sources, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has officially filed its first charge sheet in connection with the ongoing money laundering investigation involving Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo and several other entities.

The prosecution complaint, lodged on Wednesday in a special court, invokes the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), with Vivo-India identified as an accused alongside individuals previously apprehended in connection with the case, as reported by Press Trust of India.

Four individuals were arrested by the federal probe agency, including the Managing Director of Lava International mobile company, Hari Om Rai.

Additional detainees included Chinese national Guangwen, Andrew Kuang, and Chartered Accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik.

Previously, the ED had asserted in remand papers presented before a local court that the actions of the detained individuals facilitated Vivo-India in securing wrongful gains, adversely affecting the economic sovereignty of India.

The agency had conducted raids on Vivo-India and its affiliated individuals in July of the preceding year, unveiling what it claimed to be a significant money laundering network involving Chinese nationals and various Indian companies.

At the time, the ED alleged that an exorbitant ₹62,476 crore had been “illegally” transferred by Vivo-India to China, ostensibly to evade tax payments in India. In response, Vivo-India maintained its commitment to ethical principles and legal compliance.

In a recent court statement, Rai, MD of Lava International, asserted that his association with Vivo and its representatives ceased in 2014, refuting any connection to the alleged proceeds of crime.

The ED initiated an enforcement case information report (ECIR) on February 3, akin to a police FIR, following an examination of a Delhi Police FIR from December of the previous year against Grand Prospect International Communication Pvt Ltd (GPICPL), an associated company of Vivo, its directors, shareholders, and other professionals.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry had filed the police complaint, alleging the use of “forged” identification documents and “falsified” addresses by GPICPL and its shareholders during its incorporation in December 2014.

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