Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged $17.5 million money laundering case linked to Canara Bank, sources said.

Mr Goyal was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), following a long session of questioning at the ED’s office in Mumbai.

Mr Goyal, 74, will be produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai on Saturday, where the ED will seek his custodial remand.

The money laundering case stems from a first information report (FIR) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Jet Airways, Mr Goyal, his wife Anita and some former company executives in connection with an alleged  $17.5 million fraud case at Canara Bank.

The FIR was filed on the bank’s complaint that alleged it sanctioned credit limits and loans to Jet Airways (India) Ltd (JIL) to the tune of  $27  million of which $17.5 million was outstanding.

The CBI had said the account was declared “fraud” in July 2021. The bank alleged the forensic audit of JIL showed it paid “related companies”  around $54 million out of a total commission expenses, thus siphoning off funds from JIL.

The FIR said personal expenses such as salaries of staff, phone bills and vehicle expenses, among others, of the Goyal family were paid by JIL.

It surfaced during the forensic audit that funds were also siphoned off through Jet Lite (India) Ltd (JLL) by making advance and investing and subsequently writing off the same by making provisions.

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