ED is reportedly asking the court to refreeze Xiaomi’s $725 million in banking assets

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India’s Financial Crimes Agency on Thursday asked a court to refreeze Xiaomi’s $725 million (around Rs.5,624 billion) Indian bank accounts while it probes money transfers by the Chinese smartphone giant.

The Enforcement Directorate had seized the money, alleging that Xiaomi had illegally transferred funds overseas to three companies, including one in the Xiaomi Group, calling them payments “under the guise of royalties.”

But the Supreme Court in the southern state of Karnataka put that decision on hold after Xiaomi appealed it, saying all royalties were legitimate.

The lockdown decision will continue for now, a judge from the same court said Thursday, adding that the agency would make a formal request to have the freeze restored later in the day.

“The matter requires another hearing,” added Judge Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav, who has scheduled the next hearing for April 23.

A spokesman for Xiaomi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Xiaomi’s lawyers told the court that although the court had allowed it to use funds for purposes other than paying royalties, the banks did not allow the company to make necessary payments.

On Thursday, the judge allowed Xiaomi to use an overdraft facility for such payments.

The agency’s move comes after Xiaomi said in a court filing that its top executives were threatened with “physical violence” and coercion during questioning by law enforcement officials, allegations the agency has dismissed as untrue.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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