The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal based on a complaint filed with Mumbai Police. The agency is also conducting raids at his premises, according to news agency Press Trust of India. The action is continuing, PTI further reported.
The Enforcement Directorate also questioned Goyal after filing the case, PTI quoted ED officials as saying.
The FIR against Goyal and his wife, Anita, was filed at MRA Marg police station in Mumbai for allegedly cheating a Mumbai-based travel company of Rs 46 crore. A case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The complaint was made by Rajendran Neruparambil, chief finance officer of the Akbar Travels of India Private Limited, which has its office in Crawford Market area of South Mumbai.
Goyal had stepped down from the post of Jait Airways Chairman in March last year, paving way for lenders to bail out the financially troubled airline he had set up 25 years ago.
As per the case, the company had been doing business with Jet Airways since 1994. The complainant has said that the accused hid the financial crisis in their company and assured the travel agency that they would not suffer any loss. The travel agency sold Manchester-Mumbai flight tickets on cheaper rates, on the assurances of the accused. However, in January 2019, some Jet flights got cancelled, forcing the complainant to approach the accused.
The complainant alleged that the accused continued to assure them about their financial health. This money, they claimed, would be siphoned off to India to pay back dues, the travel company said, adding that they incurred losses because of the assurances.
The ED claimed in the past that Goyal’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 had carried out similar raids, under the FEMA, in August last year against Goyal, his family and others.
Jet Airways, the full-service carrier, was forced to stop operations on April 17, 2019 due to acute liquidity crunch.