By: Radhakrishna NS
INDIA’S federal probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids on the premises of Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal on Friday (23).
The country’s law enforcement and economic intelligence agency’s move has come in connection with a violation of the foreign exchange law, officials said.
According to authorities, the searches are being conducted under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and are aimed at collecting additional evidence.
The premises of the founder of the grounded airline in Mumbai and Delhi are being raided, authorities said.
India’s first full-service carrier Jet Airways stopped operations in April following a severe cash crunch.
A report by the country’s ministry of corporate affairs had found a list of large-scale irregularities, which included diversion of funds at the airline, according to media reports last month.
In March, Goyal resigned as chairman of Jet Airways.
Currently, the airline is undergoing a resolution process under the country’s insolvency and bankruptcy code.
Jet Airways has debts of more than $1 billion and has been in a tailspin for months.
It defaulted on loans and failed to pay many employees since the start of the year.
After its lenders declined to extend more funds, the carrier was forced to ground its entire fleet on April 17, triggering protests by thousands of employees who have not been paid salaries.
The valuable slots of Jet Airways have been allocated to other airlines.
The airline struggled to compete with low-cost carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet, which now dominate Indian skies. The debt-laden carrier was forced to ground its entire fleet last month, resulting in the loss of more than 20,000 jobs.