A senior government official and a business executive told Reuters that the offices of Chinese smartphone manufacturer BBK Electronics’ Vivo and its connected firms were raided on Tuesday by India’s financial crime-fighting agency.
According to local media, the Enforcement Directorate’s searches are a part of a probe into possible money laundering. Requests for comment from the Directorate received no response. Due to the investigation’s secrecy, the sources declined to be identified.
The Vivo raids come months after the Enforcement Directorate opened an inquiry into Xiaomi Corp (1810. HK), one of India’s top smartphone vendors, for alleged unlawful payments sent abroad “under the pretence of royalties.”
Xiaomi has denied any wrongdoing and claimed in court that when being questioned by representatives from the Directorate, its top executives were subjected to coercion and threats of “physical harm.” The claims were refuted by the agency.
Political tensions that have existed since a border conflict in 2020 have made it difficult for many Chinese businesses to conduct business in India. Since banning more than 300 Chinese apps, India has claimed security concerns and tightened rules for Chinese businesses investing in India.