The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday filed a fresh money laundering case against Naresh Goyal, former chairperson of the grounded Jet Airways, and against the airline, IANS reported. Last year, the agency had registered a case of Foreign Exchange Management Act violations against Goyal and Jet Airways.
The Enforcement Directorate questioned Goyal at its office in Mumbai and then took him to his residence to carry out searches, the news agency said quoting unidentified officials.
In August last year, the Enforcement Directorate had searched Goyal’s house and found him to be the owner of 19 companies. Five of these companies were located abroad, and money was siphoned off to foreign countries though them, the agency alleged. The Enforcement Directorate suspects that expenses at these companies were allegedly booked at fake and high costs and as a result, projected huge losses.
In September, the agency interrogated Goyal in relation with FEMA violations. This was the first time the agency questioned him in the case.
The Mumbai Police had earlier this year filed a first information report against the former Jet Airways chief, News18 reported. The FIR was related to charges of alleged fraud by Goyal and others against a Mumbai-based travel company. The Enforcement Directorate carried out Wednesday’s searches based on this FIR.
In June last year, Jet Airways (India) Ltd was referred to the National Company Law Tribunal for bankruptcy proceedings. The decision was taken after the company’s lenders were unable to find a suitable investor and received only a conditional bid. Jet first defaulted on loan repayment in January. Since then, negotiations were on between the banks, Goyal, and the company’s strategic partner Etihad Airways to invest in the airline.
Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal resigned from the airline’s board of directors in March 2019. On April 17, the carrier decided to temporarily suspend all domestic and international operations. The decision was taken after its lenders declined to provide emergency funds.