New Delhi: Days after the Enforcement Directorate arrested three Vivo India employees in connection with a money laundering probe, China on Monday said it will provide assistance to the arrested individuals.

A scooterist rides past a shopping complex with the billboard of Chinese smartphone maker Vivo in Ahmedabad. (Reuters file photo)

The Chinese foreign ministry today said it was closely following the case and will provide “consular protection” to those arrested.

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“The Chinese embassy and consulates in India will continue to provide consular protection and assistance to the individuals concerned in accordance with the law,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said.

She said China hopes India will provide the Chinese companies a “non-discriminatory” environment.

“The Chinese government firmly supports Chinese businesses in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests. We hope that India will fully recognise the mutually beneficial nature of the business cooperation between our two countries and provide a fair, just, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment,” she added.

The Enforcement Directorate has so far arrested the interim CEO of Vivo-India Hong Xuquan alias Terry, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Harinder Dahiya, consultant Hemant Munjal, Lava International’s MD Hari Om Rai, Chinese national Guangwen alias Andrew Kuang and chartered accountants Nitin Garg and Rajan Malik in connection with the case.

Also read: ‘Crores remitted out of India’: ED files charge sheet in probe against Chinese phone maker Vivo

Earlier this month, ED filed a charge sheet against Vivo saying the company had used shell companies to remit 1 lakh crore abroad between 2014 and 2021.

Hari Om Rai was accused of assisting the company. Guangwen Kyang alias Andrew Kuang (a Chinese national who allegedly played a key role in Vivo’s money laundering activities), Nitin Garg (chartered accountant who worked for Vivo) and Rajan Malik (statutory auditor of Lava) were also named in the charge sheet. Vivo was named as an accused in the document.

The agency said Vivo had incorporated 19 companies in India after its entry in 2014.

The agency, which raised Vivo-linked premises last year, said it remitted the money to trading companies.

“While no profit was shown from 2014-15 to 2019-20 in the statutory filings and no income taxes were paid in India, huge sums were siphoned off out of India,” according to ED’s court documents seen by HT.

With inputs from PTI

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