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Vivo PMLA case: Lava's MD moves bail plea, says no direct or indirect control over Vivo's business

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New Delhi | November 29, 2023 11:20:06 PM IST
The Managing Director of Lava International, Hariom Rai, has moved a bail petition in the trial court, stating that the allegations made against him are false and absurd. He has no direct or indirect control over Vivo's business, nor has he derived any monetary benefit, nor has he engaged in any transaction with Vivo or any entity allegedly related to Vivo, let alone having been associated with any alleged 'proceeds of crime'.

Hariom Rai was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate along with Chinese national Guangwen Kuang alias Andrew, Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case related to the Chinese mobile company Vivo. All the accused are presently in judicial custody in the matter.

He further explained that since Vivo China wanted to enter India, the applicant, Hariom Rai, met with Shen Wei, CEO of Vivo China, in the year 2013. At that time, Vivo and the applicant/LAVA were contemplating a joint venture where 25 per cent shares would be held by the applicant/ LAVA. However, this eventually never fructified and Vivo decided to independently conduct its business in India.

Plea further stated that negotiations and business talks between the applicant and the representatives of Vivo China failed and did not meet a fruitful end, due to which the applicant stopped pursuing the said opportunity and had nothing to do with Vivo China and/or its representatives after 2014. Merely because, over the years, the international relations between India and China have deteriorated, it would not mean that the applicant committed an offence at the relevant time when there were, in fact, friendly business relations between the two countries.

The bail plea was listed for hearing on Wednesday, later adjourned for December 4, 2023. Counsels for Hari Om Rai, Advocates Vikram Chaudhari and Advocate Nitesh Rana submitted that the ED has supplied a copy of the reply at midnight, which is not as per the order of this Court.

According to the ED, certain Chinese shareholders of Grand Prospect International Communication Private Ltd. incorporated the company on the basis of forged identification documents and a falsified address.

During the course of enquiry certain fraudulent activities were found by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The said company was not reported to subsidiary of Vivo in the official records, whereas the said company publicly projects itself to be subsidiary of Vivo, said ED.

ED further alleged that Director and Share Holder Zhang Jie used a false driving licence for applying Director Identification Number (DIN) for giving his Shillong address and also used his fake driving licence in opening the bank account. With the allegations of cheating, an FIR in Polive station Kalkaji, South East Delhi registered under Section 417/120B/420 IPC and another FIR also registered under Section 417/420/468/471/120B IPC by the Economic Offence Wing, Delhi Police, on the basis of a complaint filed by Manjit Singh, the then Deputy Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, NCT of Delhi.

ED further alleged that soon after the incorporation of M/s Vivo, India, 19 more companies, including M/s GPICPL, were incorporated across India, completely controlled by Chinese nationals. The accused, Bin Luo, was the founding/first director in Vivo India, GPICPL and all other 18 entities at the time of their incorporation and the accused, Nitin Garg, had assisted in the incorporation of most of the companies of Vivo Group.

According to the Enforcement Directorate, raids were on the premises of the accused on October 9 and seized cash amounting to more than Rs 10 lakh and arrested four accused, who have been identified as Guangwen Kyang, aka Andrew Kuang, the Chinese national, Hari Om Rai, the MD of Lava International, Rajan Malik, and Nitin Garg, a chartered accountant. The probe revealed that the PMLA investigation by ED was initiated by registering a money laundering case on February 3, 2022. (ANI)

 
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