Salaries of senior Jet Airways staff paid by mosquito coil maker: ED

A company called S A Sangani & Associates has accused Jet Airways (India) Ltd (JIL) of irregularities pertaining to the payment of top personnel’ salary. These allegations were recently made public by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which also revealed the airline’s dubious business methods and the involvement of other companies in the payment processing. We’ll go into the specifics of this dispute, the businesses involved, and the potential ramifications of these claims in this article.

Jet Airways Money Laundering Case

Credits: Times Now

The Allegations:

The ED chargesheet revealed that S A Sangani & Associates, a company primarily dealing in botanical products, mosquito coils, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, paid a significant sum of Rs 40.9 crore as salaries to JIL’s senior management. This raises several questions, considering the nature of the business conducted by the paying entity.

Dubious Timing and Lack of Records:

One striking detail is that S A Sangani & Associates began processing payroll for JIL in April 2018, even though the firm was not officially incorporated until June 13, 2018. Furthermore, the chargesheet pointed out that no expenses related to these salary payments were recorded in the profit and loss account of the company, raising concerns about the transparency and legitimacy of these transactions.

Consultancy Firm Involvement:

In order to maintain further discretion regarding the salary paid to employees of Jet Airways who held positions higher than general manager, the airline’s founder, Naresh Goyal, engaged HD Pathak and Associates, a different consultant business, to handle employee benefits. According to the chargesheet, payments of Rs 279.5 crore were made in the name of this consultant firm under the category of “other allowances,” which were looked into and found to be suspicious.

Involvement of Goyal’s Family:

The chargesheet also mentioned the involvement of Naresh Goyal’s family members in Jet Airways. His wife, Anita, held the position of vice-president, his daughter, Namrata, worked in customer service, and his son, Nivan, was responsible for cost reduction and efficiency improvement in the company. These family connections raise questions about the management and corporate governance of the airline.

Goyal’s Denial:

Naresh Goyal denied any knowledge of the salary payments through the consultancy firm, as mentioned in the chargesheet. This denial adds a layer of complexity to the situation and highlights the need for further investigation into the matter.

Consultancy Firm’s Role:

The ED recorded statements from senior executives of HD Pathak and Associates, who claimed that they processed salaries for JIL’s management based on instructions from Naresh Goyal received through associate firms. The consultancy firm charged a monthly fee of Rs 1000 per employee from JIL for their services. This involvement further blurs the lines of responsibility and accountability in the salary payments.

Transfer of Salaries:

The salary amounts would be transferred by Jet Airways to HD Pathak and Associates’ current account. The corporation would then send out emails with the names of the employees, the sums that needed to be paid, and the account information that the salary was supposed to be credited to. The chargesheet states that Shailesh Sangani and Company then prepared the salaries before transferring them to the affected workers from their current accounts.

Business Associations:

Rajesh Chaturvedi, the managing partner of Chaturvedi and Shah LLP, served as the joint statutory auditor of JIL and had a business association with HD Pathak and Associates. Shah informed the probe agency that two of his other companies provided tax-related services to Jet Airways. This raises questions about potential conflicts of interest and the level of transparency in the financial operations of the airline.

Conclusion:

The accusations pertaining to Jet Airways and the participation of S A Sangani & Associates and HD Pathak and Associates give rise to grave worries over financial transparency, corporate governance, and possible conflicts of interest in the airline sector. Investigations into these claims will shed further light on how they affect Jet Airways and the industry at large, but also highlight how crucial it is for businesses in all industries to uphold rigorous financial integrity and ethical business standards.


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