Jet Airways Founder Naresh Goyal’s Rs 538 Crore Money Laundering Case Update: Judicial Custody, Legal Arguments, and More.

A court here on Thursday sent Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving Rs 538 crore in Canara Bank. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Goyal on September 1 after long sessions of questioning at the central agency’s office.

The 74-year-old businessman was presented in court on Thursday as his remand with the ED had come to an end.

The court remanded Goyal in judicial custody as the investigating agency did not seek further remand.

The money laundering case is related to Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita, and some former officials of the now-defunct private airline, in connection with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR in an alleged cheating case of Rs 538 crore in Canara Bank.

In their complaint, Canara Bank claimed that it had approved credit limits and loans for Jet Airways (India) Limited totaling Rs 848.86 crore, of which Rs 538.62 crore was still owed. This led to the filing of the FIR.

The ‘Jet Airways Founder Naresh Goyal case’:

The 78-year-old Naresh Goyal has been arrested in an alleged Rs 538 crore bank fraud case, where various trusts were reportedly created to transfer funds from India to foreign accounts, ostensibly for purchasing properties. According to the investigating agency, Goyal was involved in fraudulent activities in Canara Bank, amounting to Rs 538 crore.

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal

Regarding the money laundering case, it involves Jet Airways, Goyal, his wife Anita, and some former officials of the company, and it stems from a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based on a complaint by a government lender, alleging that it had sanctioned credit limits and loans of Rs 848.86 crore to Jet Airways (India) Limited, out of which Rs 538.62 crore remained unpaid.

However, the business magnate, who once operated India’s top private airline, argued that the aviation sector operates on the basis of bank loans, and not all funds can be termed as money laundering.

His lawyers, Abad Ponda, Amit Desai, and Amit Naik, have argued that Goyal did not take any loans in his or his family’s name or stand guarantor for them. Desai argued that a significant amount of the loans taken before 2011 (by Jet Airways) was used for acquiring Sahara Airlines and said, “It’s a historic event in business.” He added, “Not just Jet Airways, but other airlines are also in crisis. The aviation sector operates on funding from banks; it can’t be all termed as money laundering.” He said, “The economy is in crisis, and that’s why some payments were missed.”

Jet Airways, which is now defunct, had its promoter Goyal inform the court during the September 11 hearing that his health was deteriorating and he was experiencing pain in his body. Goyal stated, “I can’t move my shoulder or knee… I cried all night, I want to be admitted to the hospital.”

What did the ED say?

The anti-money laundering agency has informed the court that the maximum amount has been taken out and is deposited in foreign accounts, and there is a need for further investigation in this regard. It has been found in the investigation that Goyal had purchased high-value properties in Mumbai and subsequently sold them. He also created a network of companies in India through which he acquired several immovable properties.

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