Hasmukh Gardi, a UAE-based businessman and former promoter of Jet Airways, has skipped summons recently issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs538 crore Canara Bank fraud involving airline's founder Naresh Goyal. Said to be a close aide, Gardi is suspected to be a key beneficiary of the mega fraud as he allegedly played a crucial role in money laundering.
Gardi has links to underworld, didn't answer ED, SFIO calls before
Having links to the underworld, the Dubai resident also didn't pay heed to the ED or the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) calls made in connection with an earlier Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 2019 case involving Jet Airways.
In the current Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case, his name surfaced as a beneficiary of suspected transactions, movable/immovable foreign assets and tainted money trails. His role emerged during Goyal's questioning, who revealed that he had given Gardi the power of attorney long ago. The latter reportedly possesses extensive knowledge about hundreds of bank accounts that have been used for money laundering; both domestically and internationally.
Gardi primary beneficiary in JetAirways case, finds probe
The central agency's probe discovered that he was the primary beneficiary in a web of laundered money and foreign assets. These assets had their origins in the funds diverted from Jet Airways, forming a complex financial trail. In the Panama Papers leak as well, Gardi was linked to holding 30 fraudulent companies. He is also under scanner over the source of the money invested in Tail Winds, a corporation controlled by Goyal and associated with Jet Airways.
In the 2019 case, the ED found that Goyal's business empire includes 19 privately held companies; of which 14 companies are registered in India and five companies are registered abroad, including tax havens. According to official sources, Goyal enlisted Gardi's help to indirectly control foreign entities.
Preliminary investigations done so far indicate that the duo structured various tax evading schemes thereby siphoning off huge amounts in foreign jurisdictions through dubious and fictitious transactions.
Four years ago, the agency raided the businessman's Mumbai and Delhi houses as well as premises linked to Goyal. The ED had also interrogated Gardi's family members back then.
Gardi was summoned in FEMA case filed in 2019
He didn't bother to appear before probe agencies
His houses in Mumbai and Delhi were raided back then
ED had interrogated his family members
He is also under scanner over source of money invested in Goyal-controlled firm
Accused of helping the airline founder to indirectly control foreign entities