Chinese smartphone maker Vivo’s top executives, Directors Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie, likely fled India on Wednesday after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids at its offices in connection with a prevention of money laundering case. Also Read - Vivo moves Delhi HC as ED freezes company's bank accounts
According to sources, two of the Chinese directors of Solan, Himachal Pradesh-based company, that was associated with Vivo, have likely fled India, as ED registered a prevention of money laundering case, reports IANS. Also Read - Vivo remitted Rs 62,476 crore outside India to avoid paying taxes: ED
The Chinese nationals were made directors in the Indian entities with fake documents. The enforcement agency has so far received information about money laundering worth Rs 10,000 crore during the raids, according to ED sources. More details will emerge later in the case, the sources added. Also Read - Vivo India offices raided by Enforcement Directorate under money laundering act
The CBI has also been probing the case and lodged a separate first information report.
Recently, the Enforcement Directorate has conducted raids on Vivo. The agency is conducting searches at around 44 locations across the country and facilities of the company. A Vivo spokesperson confirmed the raids and claimed to be cooperating with the authorities. The spokesperson said, “Vivo is cooperating with the authorities to provide them with all required information. As a responsible corporate, we are committed to be fully compliant with laws.”
Other popular Chinese smartphone brands like Xiaomi and Oppo were also under the ED scanner. In fact, during the investigation, ED froze Xiaomi India accounts with over Rs 5,500 crore. The court later allowed the Chinese brand to access the funds for day-to-day operations.
The enforcement directorate began the investigation on Xiaomi earlier this year, in the month of February. The ED claimed that the company made illegal remittances. Xiaomi India has been accused of remittances from the year 2015, just one year after it entered the Indian market.
Xiaomi had denied any wrongdoing on its part. Xiaomi India claimed its royalty payments and statements to the bank were legitimate. Their clarification states that these royalty payments that Xiaomi India made were for the in-licensed technologies and IPs used in the Indian version of their products.