Logistics

Enforcement Directorate grills Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal

PTI Mumbai | Updated on September 06, 2019 Published on September 06, 2019

Naresh Goyal (file photo)

The case relates to the alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law.

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal was on Friday questioned here by the Enforcement Directorate in a case of alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law, officials said.

This is the first time that the central agency is grilling him after it conducted searches against him last month. Goyal’s statement has been recorded under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) at the agency’s zonal office here, they said.

Read more: FEMA case: ED searches Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal’s premises in Delhi, Mumbai

A dozen premises, including Goyal’s Mumbai residence in Mumbai, his group companies, their directors and offices of Jet Airways, were searched by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 23.  According to agency sources, the businessman’s empire had 19 privately-held companies, five of which were registered abroad.

 The agency is probing charges that these firms allegedly carried out “doubtful” transactions under the guise of selling, distribution and operating expenses.  The ED suspects that expenses at these companies were allegedly booked at fake and high costs and as a result, they “projected” huge losses.

 Alleged shady aircraft lease transactions with non-existent offshore entities are also under the ED scanner and it is suspected that Jet Airways made payments for lease rental to “ghost firms”, which purportedly routed the ill-gotten money in Goyal’s companies.

 Officials said while the case, at present, is being investigated under the civil proceedings of the FEMA law, additional evidences may lead to the registration of a case against the businessman and others under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

 Goyal, along with his wife, were barred from flying out to a foreign location from the Mumbai airport in May as part of the vigil mounted against him by probe agencies.

Read also: Court refuses to allow Naresh Goyal to go abroad

A particular company under the ED scanner is the Isle of Man-based Tail Winds Corporation and it is suspected that it controlled all activities of Jet Airways.

The company (Tail Winds) was formed by Goyal in 1992.  The ED, as part of the searches few weeks ago, also went to the premises of Hasmukh Deepchand Gardi, who was a partner and a big investor in the Tail Winds company.  Currently, the airline is going through the resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

 

 

 

 

 

Published on September 06, 2019
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