The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has detected customs duty evasion of around Rs 2,217 crore by Chinese firm Vivo Mobile India, according to an official statement released on Wednesday.
Vivo India is a subsidiary company of Guangdong, China-based Vivo Communication Technology. The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing, assembling, wholesale trading as well as distribution of mobile handsets and accessories thereof.
During the course of the investigation, searches were conducted by DRI officers at the factory premises of Vivo India, which led to the recovery of incriminating evidence indicating wilful misdeclaration in the description of certain items imported by Vivo India, for use in the manufacture of mobile phones, according to a statement released by the Union Finance Ministry.
This mis-declaration resulted in wrongful availing of ineligible duty exemption benefits by Vivo India, amounting to Rs 2,217 crore, the ministry said.
After completion of the investigation, a Show Cause Notice has been issued to Vivo India demanding Customs duty amounting to Rs 2,217 crore, under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, it added.
A sum of Rs 60 crore has been voluntarily deposited by Vivo India, towards the discharge of their differential duty liability.
Recently, in another set of investigations conducted by DRI, Show Cause Notices demanding duty of Rs 4,403.88 crore has been issued to Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited, the Finance Ministry said. On Tuesday, the DRI issued a show-cause notice to Oppo, another Chinese phone-maker, demanding duty of Rs. 4,400 crore.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the government is looking into cases of alleged tax evasion by three mobile companies from China — Oppo, Vivo India and Xiaomi — and notices have been issued to them.
“The Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has issued notice to Oppo, the mobile company, for a total customs duty of Rs 4,389 crore, and these are on the grounds of misdeclaration of certain goods, leading to a short payment in customs duty. That duty evasion, we think, is about Rs 2,981 crores,” Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha in response to a question by BJP member Sushil Modi.