Chinese phone maker Vivo India under ED radar. Here’s why

The Enforcement Directorate investigation has revealed that Vivo India remitted over ₹1 lakh crore outside India since its entry in 2014.

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Courtesy: wikimediacommons

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against Vivo India and other entities for alleged money laundering and illegal remittance of funds outside India. The company has been charged under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

According to the sources, the investigation revealed that Vivo India remitted over ₹1 lakh crore (approximately US$12.5 billion) outside India since its entry in 2014. The ED alleges that the company used a complex web of shell companies and dummy vendors to overprice its imports and underprice its exports, artificially inflating its expenses and sending profits abroad.

The ED has attached assets worth crores of rupees belonging to Vivo India and its associated entities.

This scheme allegedly allowed Vivo to avoid paying taxes in India. The charges against Vivo India include, criminal conspiracy, money laundering, contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). However, Vivo India has denied all the allegations and said it is cooperating with the investigation.

The sources have claimed that the case is ongoing and the next hearing is expected to be in January 2024. Meanwhile, the ED is expected to file additional charges against Vivo India in the coming weeks and if the company is convicted, Vivo India could face heavy fines and penalties. 

Noteworthy here is that this case could have a wider impact on Chinese companies operating in India, leading to increased scrutiny and tighter regulations. Not only this, the company's operations in India could be significantly impacted.