Delhi HC directs ED to decide Vivo's request to operate bank accounts

Published on Jul 08, 2022 04:19 PM IST

Vivo India approached the Delhi high court challenging the central probe agency's order of July 5 through which all its bank accounts were frozen in connection with a money laundering case.

A Vivo logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai,(REUTERS file)
A Vivo logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai,(REUTERS file)
Reported by Richa Banka | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Friday directed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to take a decision by July 13 on Vivo Mobile India's (the Indian branch of the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer) representation seeking permission to operate its frozen bank accounts.

The company approached the Delhi high court challenging the central probe agency's order of July 5 through which all its bank accounts were frozen in connection with a money laundering case.

"In the meanwhile, and bearing the financial conditions which are expressed in the petition and are also set out in a representation of July 7, 2022, this court directs the respondent to attend to that representation in light of the power of according prior permission to deal with the seized property as is envisaged under section 17(1) A of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act," justice Yashwant Varma said.

ED counsel Zoheb Hossain told the court that 1,400 crore comes into the account of Grand Prospect International Communication Private Limited (GPICPL), out of which at least 1200 crore have gone into various bank accounts of the mobile company.

Hossain also said that GPICPL was registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on the basis of forged and fake documents, common ex-director being Bin Lou, who had set up 18 companies across India. Orders of Vivo were being placed through these companies and GPICPL, which alone has handled 1,200 crore and sent it into different accounts, the counsel said.

He also claimed that when the search was going on, the employees were trying to abscond, hide the digital devices and were Non- cooperative.

Appearing for Vivo, its counsel Sidharth Luthra told the court that the company's functionality has been affected.

"We have to pay tax. We have to pay TDS. We have to pay excise duties. There are 9,000 employees. There is an urgency. There is a liability that is growing every day," said Luthra.

The mentioning was allowed by the chief justice, and the case has been listed for hearing before justice Varma.

On Thursday, the ED said nearly half the company's profits - amounting to 62,476 crore - had been remitted out of the country and primarily to China.

"These remittances were made to disclose huge losses in Indian incorporated companies to avoid payment of taxes in India,” the ED said.

The agency named 23 associated companies.

On July 5, the federal probe agency raided several places across the country in the money laundering investigation against Vivo and related firms. The searches were carried out under the PMLA in several states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.

The ED filed the money laundering case after taking cognisance of a recent FIR of Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing against a distributor of an agency based in Jammu and Kashmir where it was alleged that a few Chinese shareholders in that company forged their identity documents.

The ED suspects this alleged forgery was done to launder illegally generated funds using shell or paper companies and some of these "proceeds of crime" were diverted to stay under the radar of Indian tax and enforcement agencies.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals