‘Jet Airways funds used for dubious, personal expenses’: What are ED’s charges against Naresh Goyal – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his family members made “dubious and personal expenses” of nearly Rs 1,000 crore from bank loan funds, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged on Saturday.
The agency, which took Goyal (74) into custody late Friday night, said that the airline also “diverted” money to a few tax havens.
Earlier today, a special court set up to deal with cases lodged under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) sent Goyal to the ED’s custody for 10 days, till September 11.
The agency claimed that the total non-performing assets (NPAs) of Goyal’s group — Jet Airways (India) Limited or JIL — stood at Rs 5,951.46 crore, with the largest share (Rs 1,636.23 crore) being held by the State Bank of India (SBI) among the consortium of nine banks that had exposure to the company and its promoters.
According to the ED’s investigation, the funds meant for professional and consultancy purposes were allegedly misused, resulting in the booking of dubious expenses totaling Rs 1,000 crore.
The ED claimed that the loans taken by now-defunct Jet Airways (India) Limited (JIL) from Canara Bank were used for purchasing things such as furniture, apparel and jewellery besides other illegitimate purposes.
JIL’s funds were also used to pay the salaries of his residential staff and meet operational expenses of a production company owned his daughter, the ED said.
Additionally, personal expenses incurred by Naresh Goyal and his family members were allegedly charged to the company, with unaccounted transactions flowing into the promoters’ foreign accounts, it said.
JIL “diverted” funds to overseas entities based in Dubai, Ireland and other tax havens, including the British Virgin Islands, in the garb of general selling agents’ commission, which was paid to related parties and entities connected to Goyal and his associates, the ED has alleged.
The agency added that Goyal was summoned twice following raids conducted against him in July, but he “failed” to appear.
Jet Airways, a full-service carrier, shut its operations in April 2019 after running out of cash.
Goyal subsequently stepped down as the chairperson of the airline.
The ED case, filed under the criminal sections of the anti-money laundering law, stems from an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita and some former company executives in connection with the alleged Rs 538-crore fraud case at the Canara Bank.
The ED carried out raids against Goyal, chartered accountants (CAs) and consultants to whom “large payments” were made by JIL over the years and which were red-flagged in forensic audit reports, and others involved in the case in July.
The CBI FIR was registered on the bank’s complaint alleging that it had sanctioned credit limits and loans to JIL to the tune of Rs 848.86 crore, of which an amount of Rs 538.62 crore was outstanding. The CBI had said the account was declared “fraud” on July 29, 2021.
The bank alleged that a forensic audit of JIL showed that it paid “related companies” Rs 1,410.41 crore out of the total commission expenses, thus siphoning off funds.
It said personal expenses, such as salaries of staff, phone bills and vehicle expenses, of the Goyal family were paid by JIL.
It also surfaced during forensic audits that funds were siphoned off through Jet Lite (India) Limited (JLL) by way of making advance payments and investing and subsequently, writing off the same by making provisions.
(With inputs from PTI)Watch Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal sent to ED custody for 10 days, lawyer says ‘no ground of further probe’

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