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Vivo PMLA case: Delhi court to decide on taking cognisance of ED charge sheet on December 13

The charge sheet was filed under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act before Special Judge Kiran Gupta

PTI New Delhi Published 07.12.23, 07:15 PM
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A Delhi court will consider on December 13 whether to take cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Chinese smartphone maker Vivo-India and others in a money laundering case.

The charge sheet was filed under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act before Special Judge Kiran Gupta, who on Thursday posted the matter for consideration on December 13.

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According to sources, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accused Vivo-India of cheating the Union government through an an intricate network it had set up in the country.

Four individuals -- the MD of Lava International mobile company, Hari Om Rai, Chinese national Guangwen alias Andrew Kuang, and chartered accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik –- have been named as accused the prosecution complaint (ED's equivalent of a charge sheet).

All the accused are currently in judicial custody.

Advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for Rai before the court on Thursday, termed the case as “frivolous” and said there was no evidence against his client.

The ED claimed the alleged activities of the four accused enabled Vivo-India to make wrongful gains that were detrimental to the economic sovereignty of the country.

The anti-money laundering agency had raided Vivo-India and people linked to it in July last year, claiming to have busted “a major money laundering racket involving Chinese nationals and multiple Indian companies”.

The ED alleged a whopping Rs 62,476 crore was "illegally" transferred by Vivo-India to China to avoid payment of taxes in India. The company had, however, said it "firmly adheres to its ethical principles and remains dedicated to legal compliance".

Rai had recently told a court here that though his company and Vivo-India were in talks to launch a joint venture in India a decade ago, he had nothing to do with the Chinese firm or its representatives since 2014.

"He has not derived any monetary benefit, nor has he engaged in any transaction with Vivo-India or any entity allegedly related to Vivo, let alone having been associated with any alleged 'proceeds of crime'," Rana told the court.

The agency filed an enforcement case information report (ECIR), the ED's equivalent of a police FIR, on February 3 after studying a Delhi Police FIR of December last year against an associated company of Vivo-India, Grand Prospect International Communication Pvt Ltd (GPICPL), its directors, shareholders and some others professionals.

The police complaint was filed by the Corporate Affairs Ministry alleging that GPICPL and its shareholders used forged identification documents and falsified addresses at the time of incorporation of the company in December 2014.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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