Indian court orders release of Vivo executives in India

Source: thehansindia

According to Reuters, an Indian court recently ordered the release of two senior employees working for Chinese smartphone maker Vivo’s India unit. The executives, CEO Hong Xuquan, Chief Financial Officer Harinder Dahiya, and consultant Hemant Munjal, were arrested in an alleged money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had taken them into custody, and they were in police custody for over a week.

Vivo S17

Court’s Decision

According to “India Today”, a Delhi court granted bail to the three Vivo-India executives, stating that their custody was “illegal” as they were not produced before the court within 24 hours of their arrest. The court also imposed certain conditions on them, such as not tampering with evidence, not leaving India without the trial court’s permission, and surrendering their passports in the court. The executives are on bail ofĀ 200,000 rupees (about $2,400) each. The judge ordered the three executives to report daily to the federal agency’s office until January 3.

According to Jiemian News, a spokesperson for Vivo expressed “deep shock” in this regard. He said that the Indian authorities’ “recent arrests indicate that harassment is continuing and has brought uncertainty to the entire industry. The company will resolutely take advantage of all legal means to address and challenge these allegations.

Background of the Case

Earlier this month, the Indian Enforcement Directorate launched an “anti-money laundering investigation” into Vivo’s Indian branch and arrested several senior executives, including the interim CEO and CFO. The case began when the ED arrested four people, including a Chinese national and the MD of Lava International mobile company, in connection with the alleged money laundering. The ED claimed that the accused had cheated the government by entering India in a “disguised” manner and were working without appropriate visas.

Gizchina News of the week

According to the judge, the ED did not produce the executives within 24 hours of their arrest. Hence, they were not to be in the custody of the police. The judge then granted them bail. Please note that this is a money laundering case and its details are always very confidential until the court completes its proceedings. Thus, the ED will not give any information about the alleged money laundering and the ongoing investigation

Starting from the end of 2021, the Indian authorities have launched multiple raids and tax inspections on Chinese mobile phone brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO. It has also frozen and seized funds in the Indian accounts of the above companies for various reasons. Yang Shucheng, secretary-general of the China-India-Vietnam Electronics Association (CMA), once said, ā€œ Chinese companies are not subject to spot checks but general checks, and the enforcement is quite strict. In addition to checking the company itself, it will also trace upstream and downstream companies as well as affiliated companies. This is the case in other countries, there is no special ‘treatment'”.

Vivo S16, S16e specifications

Implications of the Order

The court’s order has significant implications for the ongoing investigation and the future of Vivo-India’s operations in India. The release of the executives could potentially impact the company’s reputation and ongoing legal proceedings in the country. The court’s decision also highlights the importance of due process and the protection of individual rights in India.

Final Words

The Indian court’s order to release the Vivo executives in India marks a significant development in the ongoing case. The court’s decision emphasizes the importance of due process and the protection of individual rights, while also raising questions about the future of Vivo-India’s operations in the country.

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