The Enforcement Directorate has conducted raids on a popular Chinese smartphone maker. The agency is conducting searches at around 44 locations across the country and facilities of the company. The new searches are in connection with a money-laundering investigation against Chinese smartphone-manufacturing company Vivo and its related firms. Also Read - Vivo moves Delhi HC as ED freezes company's bank accounts
According to a report by PTI, the searches are being carried out under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency is conducting searches at 44 places related to Vivo and associated companies, they said. The exact allegations haven’t been uncovered yet. Also Read - Vivo remitted Rs 62,476 crore outside India to avoid paying taxes: ED
Reports suggest that the Chinese smartphone brand was being investigated by CBI but the case has been transferred to the ED in light of the alleged PMLA violations. Also Read - Vivo executives may have fled India amid ED's money laundering probe: Report
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.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to BGR.in for the latest updates.