NEW DELHI: Naresh Goyal, founder of the now-grounded airline Jet Airways on Friday was being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case related to an alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law. Since the crisis began at Jet Airways last year, Goyal’s name had emerged in siphoning of funds.
However, after an extensive search by the ED last months at his premises in Delhi and Mumbai, this is the first time that the agency is grilling him. ED officials said that Goyal’s statement has been recorded under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) at the agency’s zonal office in Mumbai.
According to sources, 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 the expenses of these companies were allegedly booked at fake and high costs and as a result, they projected huge losses.
It is alleged that Jet Airways executed shady aircraft lease transaction with the ghost of offshore entities and made rental payments to ghost companies thus diverting Jet funds for personal consumption. One of the firms, which is under ED’s radar is Tail Winds in the Isle of Man, set up by Goyal in 1992.