ED at Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal doorstep
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted searches at the premises of Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his firms in connection with a case of alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law.
It is understood that the searches were carried out in Delhi and Mumbai under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema) and were aimed at gathering additional evidence.
A dozen premises, including Goyal’s Mumbai residence, his group companies, their directors and offices of Jet Airways, were searched.
The move comes a day after Goyal was questioned by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office on the allegations of some financial irregularities.
As part of the searches, the agency has been examining the investment of Etihad Airways in Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd (JPPL). The Abu Dhabi-based carrier had acquired a stake in JPPL in 2014 and the ED has been probing whether any foreign direct investment norms have been violated.
JPPL is an independent entity in which Jet Airways has a 49.9 per cent stake with Etihad owning the rest. It was set up to manage and develop JPMiles, a loyalty and rewards programme.
Earlier, a few executives of the airline were questioned by the ED to examine whether Fema and RBI guidelines were followed while inking this deal.
A PTI report had earlier quoted a ministry of corporate affairs inspection report which had found large-scale irregularities, including diversion of funds, at the airline. In March, Goyal stepped down as chairman of the airline.
While Jet Airways is now undergoing resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, it had recently expressed inability to declare the first quarter results. Its resolution professional- Ashish Chhawchharia had said that due to complexities of issues faced along the paucity of funding, the process is taking time and that prior to the commencement of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP), the airline’s top management personal had resigned.