At a time when a consortium was investing to make the grounded airlines airworthy, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal after his day-long questioning on Friday over charges of laundering ₹538 core credit facility availed from Canara Bank.
ED sources stated Goyal would be produced before a Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on Saturday for seeking his custody. The ED picked up the investigation from an FIR Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed against 74-year-old Goyal, his wife Anita, Jet Airways director Gaurang Ananda Shetty on a complaint received from a Mumbai branch of Canara Bank on November 23, last year. The Bank alleged that of the ₹848.86 crore credit facility given to the airlines, ₹538.62 crore was outstanding and diverted to subsidiary/ group companies through various dubious ways.
The company’s account, which contained ₹538.62 crore borrowed from Canara Bank, was declared fraud in July of 2021, the CBI alleged. In May, the CBI carried out searches at the premises of among others Jet Airways and Naresh Goyal in Mumbai.
Incidentally, Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JCK) released a statement earlier in the day to announce that it has deposited ₹100 crore in Jet Airways to revive the bankrupt airline as outlined by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal. “With this infusion, JKC has now invested ₹250 crore in Jet Airways and now is only required to fund the remaining ₹100 crores in Jet Airways by September 30, 2023, to take control of the airline,” the consortium stated. A three-member NCLAT bench had accepted the JCK request to extend the timeline as well as adjust ₹150 crore from performance bank guarantee to clear payment of ₹350 crore.