Founder of Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal, arrested in alleged Rs 538 crore bank fraud case.

Jet Airways founder, Naresh Goyal, has found himself in legal trouble as he was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged money laundering case. This case, which revolves around an estimated sum of Rs 538 crore and is linked to Canara Bank, has raised significant concerns.

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The arrest came after a prolonged session of questioning at the ED’s office located in Mumbai. Mr. Goyal, aged 74, has been detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). His arrest marks a significant development in this ongoing investigation.

Subsequently, Mr. Goyal was scheduled to be presented before a special PMLA court in Mumbai. During this court appearance, the ED intended to seek his custodial remand, which would entail further investigation into the alleged money laundering activities.

The roots of this money laundering case can be traced back to an initial FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jet Airways, Mr. Goyal himself, his spouse Anita, and several former company executives. This FIR was prompted by allegations of a Rs 538 crore fraud involving Canara Bank.

Canara Bank’s complaint, leading to the FIR, contended that it had sanctioned substantial credit limits and loans to Jet Airways (India) Ltd (JIL), amounting to Rs 848.86 crore. Of this amount, a significant sum of Rs 538.62 crore remained outstanding.

The situation escalated when the bank declared the JIL account as “fraud” in July 2021. Subsequent investigations revealed that a forensic audit of JIL indicated substantial payments, amounting to Rs 1,410.41 crore, to “related companies,” suggesting the diversion of funds from JIL.

Furthermore, the FIR highlighted that personal expenses, including staff salaries, phone bills, and vehicle expenses incurred by the Goyal family, were allegedly paid by JIL. The forensic audit brought to light that funds were also misappropriated through Jet Lite (India) Ltd (JLL), involving advance payments, investments, and eventual write-offs, indicating a complex web of financial irregularities.

JIL allegedly diverted funds to its subsidiary, JLL, through loans, advances, and investments, further deepening the financial entanglement. This multi-layered money laundering case has raised significant legal questions and underscores the challenges faced by financial institutions in addressing such complex financial improprieties.

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