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ED detects foreign bank accounts of Jet Airways' former boss Naresh Goyal with huge amounts

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ED detects foreign bank accounts of Jet Airways' former boss Naresh Goyal with huge amounts

Trouble seems to be mounting for former chairman of Jet Airways Naresh Goyal as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has detected foreign bank accounts allegedly linked to him with huge amounts.

Naresh Goyal, his long-time associate Hasmukh Gardi's residential premises located in Mumbai and Delhi were searched by the ED on Friday. "The search resulted in the seizure of various incriminating documents and digital evidences," said the ED.

According to the probe agency, the investigation indicates that Naresh Goyal is likely to be the beneficial owner of some bank accounts abroad having huge deposits. Prima facie these transactions involve various violations under FEMA.

ED's investigation under FEMA is based on complaints and intelligence 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 outside the country.

The agency further claims that, "Naresh Goyal also indirectly controls various entities abroad some of which are in tax havens. Preliminary investigations done 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 appear 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 airline. Jet Airways shuttered operations on April 17 after running out of cash. Thousands of employees of Jet Airways lost their jobs. A lookout circular has been issued against Naresh Goyal by the investigative agencies.

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