The Enforcement Directorate on Friday night arrested Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal in an alleged Rs 538-crore money-laundering case linked to Canara Bank, PTI reported.
The 74-year-old was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after a long session of questioning at the central agency’s office in Mumbai. He will be taken to a special PMLA court on Saturday.
The Enforcement Directorate’s case is based on a May 3 first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita Goyal as well as some former company executives following a complaint from Canara Bank.
The lender said that it had sanctioned credit limits and loans to Jet Airways worth Rs 848.86 crore, of which Rs 538.62 crore was outstanding.
The funds, Canara Bank alleged, were diverted for purposes unrelated to the airline’s operations.
The bank added that a forensic audit of Jet Airways financials between April 1, 2011, and June 19, 2019, showed “glaring irregularities”, The Indian Express reported. It is also alleged that personal expenses of the Goyal family were paid by Jet Airways.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Jet Airways paid Rs 420.43 crore under the guise of professional and consultancy expenses to entities whose business nature did not match the service descriptions on their invoices.
The loan account was declared as “fraud” and reported to the Reserve Bank of India on July 29, 2021.
Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, ran out of cash in April 2019 and filed for bankruptcy. In June 2021, United Arab Emirates-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan and London-based Kalrock Capital took over the airline’s ownership after a long-drawn insolvency process but Jet is yet to resume operations.