Many Chinese nationals travelled to “sensitive places of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh” and grossly violated the Indian visa conditions, ED told a Delhi court in its remand papers after arresting four persons in connection with a money laundering probe against smartphone maker Vivo.
“During investigation, it came to light that various Chinese nationals have been travelling across India, including J&K and Ladakh, in gross violation of Indian visa conditions,” the agency said.
Among the persons arrested were a Chinese national and the managing director of Lava International Ltd, which manufactures electronics.
In its remand application, the ED alleged that the accused had cheated the government by entering India in a “disguised and fraudulent manner to set up an elaborate Chinese-controlled network throughout the country… carrying out activities prejudicial to the economic sovereignty of India”.
The four arrested — Hari Om Rai, MD, Lava International Ltd, Chinese national Andrew Kuang, and chartered accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik — were sent to three-day ED custody by Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala Tuesday.
It was further alleged by the ED that Vivo employees worked without appropriate visas and were acting in a way that was in grave violation of employment visa rules for entry into India.
According to the ED, its investigation revealed that “huge sums were siphoned out of India”, and there were alleged violations of FDI norms by Vivo from 2014 to 2018. The ED said that it had found during its investigation that remittances over Rs 1-lakh crore were allegedly transferred outside India to “trading companies” so that Vivo couldn’t be noticed by the government of India. The agency said that zero profits were shown from 2014 to 2020 and no income tax was paid in India.
A Vivo spokesperson said, “The recent arrest deeply concerns us. We will exercise all available legal options.”