The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has reportedly detected foreign bank accounts linked to former Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal with huge amounts of money in them. Goyal and his long time associate Hasmukh Gardi were searched by the ED on Friday along with 12 official and residential premises located in Mumbai and Delhi connected with the Jet Airways group.
"The search resulted in the seizure of various incriminating documents and digital evidences," said the ED.
According to the probe agency, the investigation indicated that Naresh Goyal is the likely beneficial owner of some foreign bank accounts with huge deposits. Prima facie, these transactions involve various violations under FEMA.
ED's investigation under FEMA is based on complaints and intel inputs received from various sources. The business empire of Naresh Goyal, erstwhile Chairman of Jet Airways, includes 19 privately held companies of which 14 companies are registered in India and 5 companies are registered abroad.
The agency based on its investigation claims that, "Naresh Goyal also indirectly controls various entities abroad some of which are in tax havens. Preliminary investigations so far indicate that Naresh Goyal has structured various tax evading schemes involving its domestic companies and the companies in foreign tax jurisdiction thereby siphoning off huge amount in foreign jurisdictions through dubious and fictitious transactions."
According to ED, these fictitious and inflated payments appears to have been made to some of these foreign entities under various airline lease agreements, aircraft maintenance agreements, etc. "Huge amounts appears to have been sent abroad by way of inflated commission to its own group entity in Dubai which acted as airline's exclusive overseas General Sales Agent (GSA)," said the ED.
The agency is analysing the seized documents to find more about the foreign and domestic assets linked to Goyal.
In March, Goyal stepped down as chairman of the Jet Airways. The full-service airline shuttered operations on April 17 after running out of funds, leading to thousands of Jet Airways employees losing their jobs. A Look Out Circular has been issued against Naresh Goyal by the investigative agencies.