According to the complaint, the distributor projects itself as a subsidiary of Vivo China and has submitted fake address details on Chinese shareholders Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie in official company records. On inquiry, one of the addresses was found to be the residence of a former Shillong chief secretary, while the other was that of a guard room in Himachal Pradesh.
The Shillong address was based on a false driving license from Meghalaya submitted by the company. The chartered accountants for the company are also being investigated for failing to detect the falsified records.
Vivo did not respond to a request for comment from ET. Industry insiders said that GPICL is not a Vivo subsidiary but one of its several distributors, as part of a larger network. GPICL is not part of the same legal entity, they said.
Based on the ministry complaint, an FIR was first lodged at the Kalkaji police station and subsequently transferred to the EOW. The inquiry is part of a larger crackdown on Chinese companies and directors in India, with enforcement agencies coming across a network of thousands of shell companies that operate from online accounts based in China.
A special drive is on to scrutinise Chinese directors in Indian companies as well and the MCA is instituting special cells across the country to scrutinise details submitted by company shareholders.
As reported by ET, a two-year crackdown on Chinese entities by enforcement agencies has revealed a web of companies and individuals indulging in espionage, profiling of high value individuals, large scale tax evasion and exfiltration of bulk data. The disturbing picture of Chinese commercial entities has emerged after a series of actions by Indian authorities since 2020 – busting of spying rings, tax raids on major Chinese telecom companies, a crackdown on mobile apps and a study of incoming investments into India.