New Delhi: In mounting trouble for Jet Airways and its founder Naresh Goyal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to initiate an independent probe into the books of the cash-strapped airlines, which has been under the scanner for alleged diversion of funds, a person familiar with the development said.
This comes in the wake of the probe agency quizzing Goyal last week, following which the agency found gaps in an audit carried out by the State Bank of India (SBI), which – according to a report by Business Standard – did not go into the details of funds trails and the alleged diversion of funds.
An official familiar with development said the agency would “decide how to proceed as the investigation is still on and some gaps have been observed".
Last week, the probe agency also quizzed Goyal at its Mumbai office for alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law, a month after the agency conducted searches against him in August.
In August, the ED searched several premises, including Goyal's Mumbai residence, his group companies, their directors and the offices of Jet Airways.
According to a senior ED official, Goyal had registered 19 privately held companies, five of which were registered abroad.
The ED is probing charges that these firms allegedly carried out "doubtful" transactions under the guise of selling, distribution and operating expenses.
In August, the Centre also informed the Delhi High Court that Goyal was not cooperating in the probe that pertained to alleged fraud of ₹18000 crore – an allegation that the airline's founder countered.
Goyal and his wife Anita had resigned from the board of Jet Airways in March following a debt restructuring plan. He had also resigned as the chairman of the airline which is facing insolvency proceedings.