The Enforcement Directive (ED) announced today that Chinese phone maker Vivo has remitted 50 per cent of its turnover from India operations, worth ₹62,476 crore, to avoid payment of taxes in India. The ED also noted that 22 companies associated with Vivo were transferring a huge amount of funds to Vivo India. Eighteen of these companies were incorporated by a Chinese Director, who falsified identification and forged address at the time of incorporation of one of the companies, Grand Prospect International Communication (GPICPL).
The ED disclosed that it had conducted raids in 48 locations across the country belonging to VIVO Mobiles India Private Limited and its 23 associated companies. The investigation, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, was initiated by the ED against Vivo after the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filed an FIR against Grand Prospect International Communication (GPICPL), a company associated with Vivo, alleging its fraudulent incorporation.
According to the complaint by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, GPICPL and its shareholders had used forged identification documents and falsified addresses at the time of incorporation. The ED stated that it had found those allegations to be true. “The investigation revealed that the addresses mentioned by the directors of GPICPL did not belong to them, but in fact, it was a government building and house of a senior bureaucrat.”
The ED also found that Bin Lou, Director, GPICPL, who is also named in the FIR, was responsible for incorporating 18 companies across the country. These were incorporated around the same time or just around when Vivo incorporated its India operations. The ED named another Chinese national, Zhixin Wei, who had incorporated a further four companies. These 22 companies were located in 19 major cities, including Lucknow, Gurugram, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Bin Lou left India in 2018 and Zhixin Wei in 2021. The ED stated that as per their investigation, “these companies are found to have transferred a huge amount of funds to Vivo India. Further, of the total sale proceeds of ₹1,25,185 crore, Vivo India remitted ₹62,476 crore, almost 50 per cent of the turnover out of India, mainly to China. These remittances were made in order to disclose huge losses in Indian incorporated companies to avoid payment of taxes in India.” The Hindu BusinessLine