ED men also questioned the Jet Airways founder at his Mumbai home. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal’s home was raided by team of the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai during the intervening night of March 4 and 5. The agency carried out the raids in connection with an alleged money-laundering case against Goyal and his wife Anita. A travel company has reportedly accused the power couple of duping it of Rs 46 crore. Latest media reports say that Goyal was present at his south Mumbai home during the raids. In fact, the ED men also questioned the founder of the now-grounded airline. The second largest airline in India’s aviation sector, Jet Airways completely went out of operations on April 17 last year.
Goyal has been on the ED radar since last year. In August 2019, the ED had carried out raids at Goyal’s Mumbai and Delhi homes. After the raids, the ED had alleged Goyal "structured" a number of tax evading schemes and siphoned off huge funds in foreign jurisdictions. "The search resulted in the seizure of various incriminating documents and digital evidences. Further investigation and analysis of the seized documents is going on," the agency had said in a statement.
According to the ED, Goyal had 19 private companies and five of them were said to have been registered on foreign soil. The agency is probing charges that these firms allegedly carried out "doubtful" transactions under the guise of selling, distribution and operating expenses.
The agency claimed that the founder of the doomed airlines "structured various tax evading schemes involving its domestic and foreign companies, thereby siphoning off huge amount in foreign jurisdictions through dubious or fictitious transactions".
A full-service carrier, Jet Airways shut down its operations on April 17 after running out of cash. A Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) inspection report had found large-scale irregularities, including diversion of funds, at the airline, sources had said in July.
In March, Goyal stepped down as the chairman of Jet Airways. Currently, the airline is going through the resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. After stepping down, Goyal had written an emotionally-charged letter to the 22,000-strong employees.
(With agency inputs)