Vivo Sends Over ₹1 Lakh Crore Out Of India, ED Files Chargesheet
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), a key agency in India, has recently filed a charge sheet against the Chinese phone company Vivo. This action is part of a money laundering investigation that the ED has been conducting.
The central issue here is quite serious. It’s about how Vivo, since it started operating in India in 2014, is said to have sent more than ₹1 lakh crore out of the country. This is a huge amount and raises questions about the company’s financial activities.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) believes that Vivo used shell companies – these are companies that exist mostly on paper and don’t have active business operations – to move this money out of India.
In the charge sheet, several individuals are named. These include Hari Om Rai, who is the founder and managing director of Lava International. He is accused of helping Vivo in these activities.
Others named are Guangwen Kyang, also known as Andrew Kuang, a Chinese national allegedly central to Vivo’s money laundering; Nitin Garg, a chartered accountant who worked for Vivo; and Rajan Malik, the statutory auditor of Lava. Vivo as a company is also accused in this charge sheet. They are all charged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED’s investigation, which started in 2022, revealed that after entering India, Vivo set up 19 more companies in various cities. These companies had Chinese nationals as their directors or shareholders. They controlled the entire supply chain of Vivo Mobiles in India.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) policy back then allowed 100% foreign investment in certain business models without needing government approval. The ED alleges that Vivo used this as a cover to enter India and conduct its operations without revealing its true ownership and activities to the Indian authorities.
The agency also claims that while these companies didn’t show any profit and didn’t pay income taxes in India, they were still able to send large sums of money out of the country.
In response, Vivo has stated that it adheres to legal and ethical standards. However, the ED’s findings suggest otherwise, indicating a concealed Chinese control over these Indian entities.
This is not just about financial irregularities but also about economic sovereignty. The ED’s actions and the court’s decisions in the coming days will be crucial in understanding the full extent of this issue and ensuring that the economic interests of India are safeguarded.