ED files fresh money laundering case against Naresh Goyal

Mumbai (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday filed a fresh case of money laundering against Naresh Goyal, former chairman of the grounded Jet Airways, and the airlines.

A source said that the money laundering case was registered against Goyal and Jet Airways. Earlier, the financial probe agency had registered a case of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations against the airline and Goyal last year.

The source said that earlier in the day, Goyal was questioned by the central probe agency at its office here and then he was taken to his residence for carrying out searches.

Fresh case has been registered to probe the alleged irregularities committed by the grounded airline, including diversion of funds, the source said.

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Last year in August, the ED carried out searches at the residence of Goyal and has got details of 19 companies held by him of which five are located abroad and how money was siphoned off to other countries through dubious transactions.

During searches last year, the ED seized several incriminating documents related to the payments made to foreign companies and digital evidences have been seized.

The official said the agency has taken up the investigation into alleged violation of the FEMA against Jet Airways and Goyal based on complaints from various sources.

According to ED, the business empire of Goyal, who stepped down from the post of chairman of the airline in March last year, includes 19 privately-held companies of which 14 are registered in India and five are registered abroad.

An ED official had earlier said, Goyal "indirectly controls" various entities "abroad" some of which are in tax havens.

A full-service carrier, Jet Airways shuttered operations on April 17 after running out of funds. Thousands of employees lost their jobs and the airline's slots and aircraft were leased out to competitors on a temporary basis.

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