The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided 40 locations around the country on Tuesday in connection with a money laundering investigation filed against Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo. According to sources, the raids were taking place at several locations in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and a few southern states.
It remained unclear what the underlying offence was that prompted the Enforcement Directorate to launch the money-laundering inquiry.
ED Raids 44 Locations Of Vivo: Here’s What We Know So Far
However, in 2020, Meerut police filed a fraud lawsuit against Vivo for allegedly running around 13,500 phones in the country with the identical IMEI number. The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a 15-digit identifier that is used to identify specific handsets.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a notification in 2017 mandating that all telephones have a unique IMEI; failure to comply might result in a three-year prison sentence.
This is the ED’s second major case against a Chinese corporation. Previously, it has charged Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi with illicit foreign remittances in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999, the Enforcement Directorate seized Rs. 5,551.27 crore from Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited in April.
Xiaomi India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate Xiaomi. The confiscated cash, according to the Enforcement Directorate, was in the company’s bank accounts. In February of this year, the Enforcement Directorate opened an investigation into the company’s illegal remittances.
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