Jet Airways founder and ex-chairman Naresh Goyal and few others have been booked by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case even as the agency is conducting searches at his premises, officials said on Thursday (March 5).
Earlier, Goyal was summoned for questioning at the ED office where he was for around four hours and then taken to his Mumbai residence around 9 pm where searches were carried out.
After the raid, Goyal’s statement was also recorded in connection with a fresh case registered by the agency under the stringent PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act).
His lawyers accompanied him throughout the questioning and searches.
They said a criminal case against Goyal has been filed after taking cognisance of the recent FIR by the Mumbai Police.
The Mumbai Police FIR pertains to charges of alleged fraud by Goyal and others perpetrated against a Mumbai-based travel company.
Goyal has earlier been grilled by the central probe agency in a case filed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in September last year.
The agency had carried out similar raids, under the FEMA, in August last year against Goyal, his family and others.
ED has alleged in the past that 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.
A full-service carrier, Jet Airways shut its operations in April last year after running out of cash.
A month earlier, Goyal had stepped down as the chairman of Jet Airways.
(With inputs from agencies)