The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed a batch of petitions seeking permission to freeze and operate their bank accounts. These petitions were filed in the money laundering case related to Vivo Mobile India Private Limited.
Justice Yashwant Verma after hearing the petitioners’ counsel and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) granted them relief subject to certain conditions to be followed by the petitioners including maintaining the amount in question in the bank account on the day of freezing.
The bench directed the ED to allow the petitioners to operate their bank accounts within 48 hours.
12 companies have approached the High Court through advocate Rajeev Mohan demanding freezing of their bank accounts.
It was submitted before the bench that the bank accounts of the petitioners were placed on debit freeze by the ED from July 6 this year in connection with the money laundering case linked to Vivo Mobile.
Counsel submitted that due to freezing of bank accounts the petitioner companies could not meet their expenses like rent, salary etc. In view of this, bank accounts should be allowed to operate.
It was also submitted that the court had allowed other petitions seeking similar relief on August 8.
Earlier, the High Court had on July 13 this year allowed Vivo Mobile to operate a bank account with a bank guarantee of Rs. 950 crores. The company had challenged the freezing of its bank accounts by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
According to the ED, around 23 associated companies of Vivo India such as Grand Prospect International Communication (GPICPL) transferred huge amounts to the firm and the total sale proceeds of Rs. 1,25,185 crore remitted. 62,476 crore, nearly 50 percent of the turnover outside India is mainly in China.
“These companies have been found to have transferred large amounts of funds to Vivo India. Further, out of total sales of Rs 1,25,185 crore, Vivo India has remitted almost 50 per cent of its turnover outside India, Rs 62,476 crore, to China,” the ED informed.
The ED said this after searching 48 locations across the country of 23 related companies like Vivo Mobiles India Pvt Ltd and GPICPL.
It further stated that GPICPL was registered on December 3, 2014 with the Registrar of Companies, Shimla with registered addresses of Solan in Himachal Pradesh and Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.
Zhengshen Ou, Bin Lu and Zhang Ji founded the company with the help of chartered accountant Nitin Garg.
“Bin Lu left India on 26 April 2018. Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Ji left India in 2021.”
The PMLA investigation was initiated by the ED on February 3 this year with the filing of an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) based on a First Information Report (FIR) lodged against GPICPL and its directors on December 5 last year at Kalkaji police station under the Delhi Police. , shareholders and certified professionals based on a complaint filed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.