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Money laundering case: ED raids Vivo offices in J&K and Ladakh

Last Updated on July 6, 2022 at 10:08 am

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at eight locations today, including stores and the homes of the owners of the Vivo firm in J&K in accordance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Five of these raided locations are in Jammu while two are in Kashmir, and one in Ladakh.

According to the government sources, the Enforcement Directorate examined a total of 44 locations around the nation as part of its money-laundering probe against Chinese smartphone maker Vivo and associated companies.

The ED has lodged a money laundering case following FIR by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing against a distributor of the agency with headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir. There were allegations that some Chinese shareholders in the company had faked their identification documents.

The ED has raided Grand Prospect International Communication Private Limited, the Vivo headquarters at Bahu Plaza, Pappu Electronics at Shalamar Road and its owner’s home in Trikuta Nagar, Swastik Electronics at Ranbir Market and its owner’s home in Gandhi Nagar in Jammu.

According to sources, there were reliable inputs that the Chinese company was engaging in money laundering activities such as inflating bills, creating fake bills, filing incorrect balance sheets, and creating duplicate bills, among other offences. However, the ED has not released any official statement on the raids and seizures that started yesterday morning and went until late in the evening.

Sources have informed that during its raid, the ED has taken hold of various significant documents, equipment, laptops, and other devices from the offices of Vivo’s dealers and the company’s headquarters in Jammu. A Vivo dealer was also searched in the Ladakh UT town of Leh. In Srinagar, the ED conducted a raid on two business locations.

The home of Basharat Khan, the son of Zareef Din Khan of Balgarden, was jointly raided by the ED team and police from the Karan Nagar Police Station. They examined the sales records for the computers and phones and created their zerox replicas. Later, they searched his Micromax store in Srinagar’s Karan Nagar neighbourhood, where he sells mobile phones and laptops.

The residence of Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Mir, the son of Habibullah Mir of Madin Sahib Hawal, was also raided by the ED. The ED examined old chequebooks and business-related paperwork during the raid. Dr. Mir holds a BUMS degree, but he also owns a clothing store and a Vivo phone dealership. Sources claim that the searches were conducted in accordance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act’s provisions (PMLA).

The move is viewed as a component of the Central Government’s efforts to maximize controls on Chinese entities. The ongoing crackdown on such businesses and their affiliated Indian operatives who are allegedly engaging in serious financial crimes like money laundering and tax evasion can be seen as a part of the strategy.

In April this year, the ED seized deposits from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi India totaling Rs 5,551 crore for alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Other than J&K and Ladakh, the ED also conducted raids in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.