ED attaches assets worth Rs 538 cr of Jet founder Naresh Goyal, others in London, Dubai

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday said it has attached in London, Dubai and India assets worth Rs 538 crore of Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, his family members, and companies as part of a money laundering investigation linked to an alleged bank loan fraud.

The attached properties include 17 residential flats, bungalows, and commercial premises.

Located in London, Dubai, and various cities in India, these properties are in the name of various companies like Jetair Private Limited and Jet Enterprises Private Limited, Goyal, his wife Anita, and son Nivaan, the federal agency said in a statement.

The total value of these assets is Rs 538.05 crore, the ED said.

Goyal, 74, was arrested by the ED on September 1 and the agency filed a charge sheet against him on Tuesday before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai. He is in judicial custody and lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.

Jet Airways, a full-service carrier, shut its operations in April 2019 after running out of cash. Later, Goyal stepped down as the chairperson of the airline. The money laundering case against Goyal stems from a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR that was registered on the basis of a complaint by Canara Bank, Mumbai.

According to the bank’s complaint, JIL, its promoters and directors committed offences of cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and criminal misconduct, resulting in a “massive” NPA (non-performing asset) of Rs 538.62 crore, the ED said.

“JIL siphoned off the loans from a consortium of banks led by SBI and PNB, and Naresh Goyal implemented a massive financial fraud in which the funds of JIL were systematically diverted in the garb of irrational and inflated General Sales Agent (GSA) commissions, large unexplained payouts to various professionals and consultants, by granting of loans to JetLite Limited (100 per cent subsidiary to acquire Air Sahara), and subsequently writing off the loans by making provisions in the balance sheets,” the agency alleged.

GSA commissions were “wrongfully” paid to Jet Air Private Limited (GSA of JIL for India) and Jet Airways LLC Dubai (Global GSA of JIL). JIL also “wrongfully” paid for the operational expenses of these GSAs, it said. All these GSAs were “beneficially owned” by Goyal, the ED said.

Hence, it added, that the JIL management toed the line of Goyal and kept on paying large sums of money regularly despite the fact that these entities were not performing any substantial service after 2009.
The funds so received were again used by Goyal and his family for their expenses and investments, the ED said.