Vivo employees appear in court in India

National Business Wire (Dec 28) -- India's Directorate of Enforcement (ED) brought three vivo employees, including a Chinese national, to appear in a New Delhi district court on Tuesday.

Indian authorities have accused the Chinese smartphone maker of involvement in money laundering, and its investigation has spilled over to Terry Hong Xuquan, acting chief executive officer of vivo India, Harinder Dahiya, chief financial officer of vivo India, and Hemant Munjal, an advisor to vivo.

After the three defendants appeared in court, prosecutor and defense attorneys engaged in heated arguments before Judge Aparna Swami for a period of three hours. Finally, the judge decided to extend the ED's custody of the three accused for two more days.

The Chinese Embassy in India dispatched a diplomat to provide assistance to Hong as the Indian court was hearing the case on Tuesday.

Even before the ED arrested the three vivo employees on Saturday, the Chinese firm had been one of the targets of the Indian financial crime agency.

The ED raided the Indian offices of vivo and others on suspicion of money laundering in July last year, accusing vivo India of illegally transferring 624.76 billion rupees to China to avoid paying taxes in India.

And in October this year, it arrested Hari Om Rai, managing director of Lava International Ltd., a mobile company with which Vivo has business ties, Andrew Kuang, a Chinese employee of vivo India, Nitin Garg, a chartered accountant working for vivo, and Rajan Malik, Lava's statutory auditor.

The ED has claimed that the four, who remain in custody till date, have suspicion of involvement in money laundering, but vivo has denied the allegation.

Recently, the court hearing Hong's case received a charge sheet from the ED against the four persons.

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