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Naresh Goyal: Jet Airways Founder Faces 14 Days in Custody for ₹538-Crore Loan Fraud Case

Goyal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate took place on the night of September 1 

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

INDIA: On Thursday, the special PMLA court ordered the founder of the now-defunct airline Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal, to be placed in judicial custody for 14 days. Following this, the 74-year-old was transferred to Arthur Road jail.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) detained Goyal late on September 1 as part of a case against Jet Airways, Goyal, and others for allegedly defrauding Canara Bank of ₹538 crore.

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Following the conclusion of his custody remand by the ED, Naresh Goyal was presented before the special PMLA court on Thursday morning. During this court appearance, the enforcement agency requested judicial custody for him, and subsequently, the special court granted this request.

After the court’s decision to remand him in judicial custody, Goyal submitted many appeals, pleading with the court to grant him daily access to his family physician, regular medical consultant, and personnel speciality physician.

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He stated that on September 13, he was rushed to JJ Hospital after feeling dizzy and uneasy. Following his diagnosis, doctors told him that his heart rate was quite low, and based on his history of heart disease and prior to bypass surgery, the 74-year-old was at a heightened risk of cardiac arrest.

Furthermore, he asserted that he currently has an 80% blockage in his left main artery and is under treatment for depression, emphasising the necessity of regular medical care. Goyal also requested permission to meet or speak with his family members for an hour each day, citing his wife’s battle with cancer as a compassionate reason.

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The court has directed the prison authorities and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to respond to his requests by Monday. In the interim, Goyal has been granted the privilege of consuming home-cooked meals according to his dietary requirements.

Goyal was detained by the ED as part of a money laundering investigation. The allegation revolves around him and the airline being involved in a ₹538 crore fraud against Canara Bank.

The ED has also argued that Jet Airways obtained a loan from a consortium of 10 banks to cover its operational expenses from 2011–12 to 2018–19. However, a portion of this loan, amounting to ₹6,000 crore, remains unpaid.

According to the agency, a forensic audit revealed that ₹1,152 crore was diverted under the guise of consultancy and professional fees, while ₹2,547.83 crore was diverted to a sister concern called Jet Lite Limited (JLL) to settle its loan. The funds extended to JLL were subsequently removed from Jet Airways’ financial records.

Furthermore, the ED disclosed that approximately ₹9.46 crore had been disbursed to family members and domestic staff employed at Goyal’s residence.

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