Substantial sum diverted to Naresh Goyal's trusts: ED

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its prosecution complaint (PC), which is akin to a chargesheet, against the promoter of Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal, has claimed that a substantial amount of the alleged proceeds of crime (PoC) was diverted into offshore trusts of which Goyal and his family members were beneficiaries. Further, the allegedly diverted funds were used by companies holding assets of the trusts to purchase properties in London and Dubai. Also $4 million was given to Goyal’s son, Nivaan to fund his business and to cover expenses.

The probe has also revealed that, following the launching of investigation against Goyal by Indian agencies, funds of three of Goyal’s offshore trusts, PAN Horizons trusts, The Knightsbridge Horizon trusts and New Horizon trusts were frozen by the New Jersey-based IQEQ trustee. Subsequently Goyal replaced IQEQ with a new trustee, Summit Trust International SA, Geneva.

“IQEQ trustee based in Jersey froze the finances which comprised rental income and interest income of the above-mentioned trusts citing the reason that an investigation was going on against Goyal in India. Due to this reason the trusteeship of the above-mentioned three trusts was changed to a new trustee by the name Summit Trust International SA, Geneva, which continues to be the trustee of the above-mentioned trusts. There are three underlying companies of these above-mentioned trusts namely M/s. Dunbridge Business Development Inc, M/s. Lamari Assets holding Limited BVI and M/s. Craigmore Holding Limited, BVI. These companies hold assets and immovable properties of the above-mentioned trusts,” the ED has said in its chargesheet reviewed by ET.

Goyal has defended these transactions, claiming that the offshore assets were purchased by him from loans availed from Standard Chartered and HSBC, which he had repaid through the dividends earned by his company, Tailwinds Limited, the parent company of Jet Airways. Funds received from IPO of Jet Airways Pvt Ltd (JIL) were also used for repayment. The probe has however found JIL did not declare dividends after becoming public. Instead it started taking loans for financing its operations and acquisitions.

“Goyal being the 100% shareholder of Tailwinds, the holding company of JIL, was getting dividends worth ₹1,60,58,94, 131 since FY 1995 – 1996 to 2006-07 which was declared by JIL from time to time. Once the company went public by diluting shares of promoter from 100% to 80% aggregating ₹18,993 million the entire public money was used by promoter i.e Naresh Goyal to acquire immovable properties in foreign jurisdictions, including London. Also, the company did not declare dividend after becoming public rather started taking huge loans for its operations and acquisitions,” the chargesheet adds.

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Roy Walsh

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