Jet Airways' Properties Worth Rs 538 Crore Seized In Money Laundering Case

The properties include 17 residential flats, bungalows, and commercial buildings registered under the names of companies and people, including Jet Airways' founder Naresh Goyal

Jet Airways' Properties Worth Rs 538 Crore Seized In Money Laundering Case

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets linked to Jet Airways case

New Delhi:

Properties worth over Rs 500 crore have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case linked to Jet Airways (India) Ltd.

The properties include 17 residential flats, bungalows, and commercial buildings registered under the names of companies and people, including Jet Airways' founder Naresh Goyal, wife Anita Goyal and son Nivaan Goyal in London, Dubai, and some states in India.

The central probe agency attached the properties worth at least Rs 538 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, or PMLA, 2002.

Apart from the Goyals, some properties are registered under the names of Jetair Pvt Ltd, and Jet Enterprises Pvt Ltd.

The ED yesterday filed a chargesheet against Mr Goyal and five others in the alleged fraud case filed by Canara Bank.

The bank in the first information report (FIR) alleged it had sanctioned credit limits and loans to the now-grounded private airline up to Rs 848 crore, of which Rs 538 crore was outstanding.

Mr Goyal was arrested by the ED on September 1 under the PMLA and is being kept in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail.

The ED alleged the Jet Airways founder siphoned off money by creating trusts in other countries. Mr Goyal allegedly used those trusts to buy immovable properties. The money for those trusts is nothing but proceeds of crime, the ED said.

Citing an audit report, the ED said the loans taken by Jet Airways were used to buy furniture, apparel, and jewellery, apart from properties.

During a court hearing on September 12, the businessman who once operated one of India's biggest private airlines, said the aviation sector runs on bank loans and all the funds cannot be termed as money laundering.

Mr Goyal, represented by lawyers Abbad Ponda, Amit Desai and Amit Naik, told the court he did not take any loan on his or family's name or stood as a guarantor for them. The lawyers said a significant amount of bank loans taken by Jet Airways before 2011 were used to buy Sahara Airlines.

"This is a historical event in business. Not just Jet Airways, other airlines, too, are in a crisis. The aviation sector runs on the basis of funding from banks; all these cannot be termed as laundering," Mr Goyal's lawyer said.

There was a crisis in the economy and that is why he defaulted in making some repayments, the lawyer said.

The court said Mr Goyal's statements indicated he avoided giving details of all his bank accounts as well as movable and immovable properties in India and abroad.

.