Enforcement Directorate begins probe into Etihad’s 2014 investment in JetPrivilege: Sources

The Enforcement Directorate is probing Etihad’s 2014 investment in JetPrivilege Private Limited (JPPL), the company that operated Jet Airways’ frequent-flier programme.

A senior official in the ED told Moneycontrol that Etihad’s Rs 900-crore investment in JetPrivilege may have been a violation of FDI limit norms. Etihad picked up a 50.1 percent stake in JPPL through the investment.

The ED has called the senior management of Jet Airways next week to understand the deal structure.

When contacted, Etihad said it had not been contacted by the ED. “Etihad acquired its share in JPPL nearly six years ago in compliance with all regulatory requirements. Any queries relating to JPPL should be made directly to them.”

Jet Airways, which recently shut down its operations, did not reply to an email seeking comment.

Another source told Moneycontrol that the ED is also separately looking into Jet founder Naresh Goyal’s investments in various foreign airlines.

This is not the first time Jet Airways is being probed by authorities. Recently, the income tax department searched offices of Jet Airways and found discrepancies in their books.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs then commenced investigation of Jet’s books and found violation of companies’ law. A report will be submitted by MCA by mid-May.