Vivo PMLA case: Delhi court extends ED custody of accused by two days

A court here on Monday extended by two days the ED custody of three people, including Lava International MD Hari Om Rai, arrested in a money laundering case against Chinese smartphone maker Vivo.

Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala extended the custody of Lava mobile company’s managing director Rai, Nitin Garg and Chinese national Guangwen Kuang till October 18, saying the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was “able to make out the case for grant of further custody remand”.

The accused were produced before the court on completion of their ED custody granted earlier.

“There appears to be continuity in the stand taken by Enforcement Directorate with regard to extraction of digital data and the accused persons to be confronted with the same. Therefore, considering the settled principles of law and Delhi High Court Rules, I am of the considered opinion that the Enforcement Directorate is able to make out the case for grant of further custody remand,” the judge said.

The court directed that the interrogation be conducted at a place having CCTV coverage and the footage be preserved.

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The accused persons shall be medically examined once in every 48 hours during the above period and they shall also be permitted to meet their advocates for half an hour daily between 6 pm and 7 pm during the said period of their ED custody in a manner that the ED officials are not able to hear their conversations, the court said.

The accused were arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The agency had raided the Chinese company and individuals linked to it in July last year, claiming to have busted a major money laundering racket involving Chinese nationals and multiple Indian companies.

The ED had then alleged that a whopping Rs 62,476 crore was “illegally” transferred by Vivo to China in order to avoid paying taxes in India.

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