The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Jet Airways India Limited founder Naresh Goyal (74) in a Rs 538 crore money laundering (PMLA) case. ED officials said that Goyal was arrested on Friday night. The ED can demand remand by presenting Goyal in the special PMLA court on Saturday. ED started the investigation of this money laundering case on the basis of CBI’s FIR. The CBI has named Goyal, his wife Anita and some former officials of the company as accused in the Canara Bank fraud case.
The CBI had registered an FIR on the basis of the bank’s complaint. In this, the bank has alleged that it has committed fraud against Jet Airways Ltd. (JAL) had given a loan of Rs 848.86 crore, of which Rs 538.62 crore is still outstanding. This account was declared fraud on 29 July 2021. The bank alleged that the forensic audit of the company revealed that it paid Rs 1,410.41 crore as commission to its other companies and thus diverted Jet’s money. Jet also paid money to its subsidiaries through loans or other investments.
After completing his graduation in 1967, Naresh Goyal started working in a travel agency. Where he looked after the work of a Lebanese airline. Gradually, Naresh Goyal became an expert in this business and after that worked in many big airlines in big positions. After this, Naresh Goyal along with his wife Anita Goyal started Jet Air Private Limited, but initially the company handled the marketing and sales of foreign airlines. On 5 May 1993, Jet Airways commenced domestic flight services with two aircraft, the Boeing 737 and the Boeing 300. Gradually Jet Airways became one of the largest private airlines company in the country and at one time the company had a total of 120 aircraft. At its peak, Jet Airways operated 650 flights a day and at that time Naresh Goyal was counted among the 20 richest people in the country.
In 2006, Jet Airways bought the distressed Air Sahara by paying $500 million in cash, which later sank. This caused a big blow to Jet Airways. Jet Airways also failed to find strategic investors. Due to this the company’s losses increased. Meanwhile, budget airlines like Indigo, Spice Jet and Go Air entered the Indian airline market, which captured the market of Jet Airways by offering cheap tickets.
Troubled Jet Airways sold 24 percent of its shares to Etihad Airlines in 2013. To recover from losses in 2018, the company cut the salaries of its employees by 25 percent. Also, free food given to passengers during domestic flights was also stopped. 8,000 crore in debt to some foreign banks including Canara Bank, Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and Allahabad Bank and Jet Airways was finally grounded on 17 April 2019 due to non-payment of lease rent. Now the arrest in the money laundering case has added to Naresh Goyal’s troubles.