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Thursday 9 April 2020

Jet Airways’ Naresh Goyal raided again

A full-service carrier, Jet Airways shuttered operations on 17 April 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

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday conducted searches at the premises of Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal in connection with a case of an alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law, officials said. They said the searches are being carried out under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and are aimed at gathering additional evidence.

About a dozen premises in Mumbai and Delhi, including Goyal’s residence in Maharashtra’s capital, are being searched, they said.

Proceedings under the FEMA are civil in nature.

Goyal was questioned by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on Thursday in Mumbai in connection with allegations of some financial irregularities. Officials said the federal agency is also looking at the airline’s stake in Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd (JPPL), set up in 2012, as part of the latest searches.

JPPL is an independent entity in which Jet Airways has 49.9 per cent stake and is part of the Etihad Group. It was set up to manage and further develop JPMiles, a loyalty and rewards programme.

A few executives of the now-closed down airline were questioned by the ED in this case in the past as part of ascertaining if FEMA and RBI guidelines were followed while inking this deal.

A full-service carrier, Jet Airways shuttered operations on 17 April 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 chairman of the airline. Currently, Jet Airways is undergoing resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

The consortium of lending banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) had abandoned its efforts to re-establish the private sector Jet Airways (India) Ltd. The group of banks decided to send the case to the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) for action under the bankruptcy code to resolve the debt trap in which the airline finds itself. Banks have to recover Rs 8,000 crore from the airline.

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