The Enforcement Directorate (ED) continued searches at the premises of Chinese companies, including smartphone maker Vivo, at 44 locations in 22 states on Wednesday, and it has been reported that the directors of one of the companies associated with Vivo have fled India. 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. 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. The CBI has also been probing the case and lodged a separate first information report.
In a statement to IANS, Vivo had said that it 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," a company spokesperson said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) searches were carried out under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at locations in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.
The action is being seen as part of the Union government's steps to tighten checks on Chinese entities and the continued crackdown on such firms and their linked Indian operatives that are allegedly indulging in serious financial crimes like money laundering and tax evasion while operating in India.
The stepped-up action against the Chinese-backed companies or entities operating in India comes in the backdrop of the military stand-off between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh has been ongoing for more than two years now.
In April, the ED seized Rs 5,551.27 crore of Xiaomi Technology India Private Ltd lying in the bank accounts under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) connection with the illegal outward remittances made by the company.