Nokia’s offices and manufacturing plant in Chennai were raided by Indian government tax officials yesterday, according to various reports.
A Nokia spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the Indian authorities gave no reason for the raid and the company was unable to provide any more details other than it was “fully cooperating to ensure they get the necessary information to help in their inquiry”.
However, the report cited a source that said the raid is likely to be connected to the allocation of taxes between India and Nokia’s home country of Finland.
An Economic Times report added that the tax authorities suspect Nokia of tax evasion to the tune of INR29.9 billion ($545 million).
Nokia’s Chennai factory began operating in 2006 and produces more than 20 models, including the Asha range of feature phones phones aimed at consumers in emerging markets.
Vodafone revealed this week that Indian tax officials sent it another notice stating that it owed more than $2 billion in taxes on its $11.2 billion purchase of a controlling stake in the Indian operations of Hutchison Whampoa in 2007.
The Indian government amended a law last year to allow taxation to take place on transactions completed in the past in which foreign companies took over domestic assets. Tax authorities previously said Vodafone owed around £3.75 billion in taxes, interest and penalties.