Updated: March 5, 2020 11:42:35 am
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal. This is the first time the agency has booked Goyal for alleged money laundering.
Sources said that the agency has taken cognisance of an FIR by Mumbai Police at MRA Marg Police Station on a complaint from a travel agency. Sources said the ED’s forex violations probe revealed alleged money laundering, but in the absence of a predicate offence it was not in a position to register a PMLA case.
They added that the agency is also carrying out searches in Mumbai in connection with the new case.
Last year, the ED questioned Goyal and searched multiple premises associated with him, after registering a case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. As per ED sources, Goyal has 19 privately held companies, of which 14 are in India and 5 abroad.
The Directorate has alleged that Jet Airways executed aircraft lease agreements with offshore entities that made payments to firms, which allegedly “diverted” money to Goyal. Sources said the ED is examining transactions of the airlines pertaining to sales and distribution.
In May 2019, the ED began probing Etihad Airways’ investment in Jet Airways’ frequent flyer programme Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd (JPPL). The agency is ascertaining whether foreign direct investment (FDI) norms were violated by Etihad, which took a stake in JPPL in 2014.
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