New Delhi: While Naresh Goyal has stepped down as founder-chairman of Jet Airways, the spectre of another ‘Company’ has always chased him. It is the D Company.

Media had reported about Jet Airway’s alleged links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Journalist Josy Joseph, in his book, A Feast of Vultures, had written about the connection, for which Goyal sued him for Rs 2,000 crore.

It made news when his airline got suspicious funds from the MiddleEast allegedly pumped in by the underworld. The Intelligence Bureau also reportedly intercepted the calls between Dawood Ibrahim and Naresh Goyal. Also, a report claims that LK Advani, the then deputy prime minister, reportedly got angry after the IB chief briefed him about the dubious money trail. Advani wanted action. However, nothing really happened.

According to Joseph, a Ministry of Home Affairs joint director wrote a letter confirming Goyal's link with Dawood.

“Intelligence Bureau chief KP Singh and his senior colleague, the joint director Anjan Ghosh, took an elevator down North Block to an official vehicle waiting in the basement on a summer day in 2002. A short distance away, at the circular building housing the houses of Parliament, members were agit­ated over a letter Ghosh had written a few months earlier. It was a single-page note to Sangita Gairola, joint secretary at the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), saying that his agency had ‘confirmed information of intermittent contacts between Naresh Goyal and underworld dons, Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim, to settle financial issues’,” Joseph wrote.

According to him, the letter said, “Naresh Goyal’s bonhomie and close business links with the Shaikhs have been known for over two decades. These connections are believed to have been used repeatedly not only to get direct investments, but also to get a lot of tainted Indian money laundered and recycled into business in India. Much of this kind of money is generated through smuggling, extortion and similar illegal practices.”

According to a 2002 Outlook magazine report, Jet Airways first came under the IB radar in 1993 just after the airline started its operation. “On September 20, 2000, home secretary Kamal Pandey forwarded a request of disinvestment minister Arun Shourie to the then IB director Shyamal Datta (letter No I-382/HS/2000) asking for detailed information on the airline. Datta's reply (letter No IV/8(121)/2001-1705, dated October 23, 2000) highlighted the RAW findings that Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, some diamond merchants of Belgium and a few Indians held stake in the company,” the report said.

When Goyal was in Paris, a call was reportedly intercepted while he called Dawood in Karachi, revealing deals between them. Officials from the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had also probed Jet’s inbound courier and revenue collected on Customs duty.

Not only IB and ED, but also Income Tax assessments of Goyal for three assessment years 1993-94, 94-95, 95-96 had been reopened as he had not disclosed the source of investments in the airline, media reports claimed.

“The ED letter to IT officials suggested that though the auditors' report says Goyal pumped in $20 million in the share capital of Tail Winds, he actually invested only $6 million of his own money along with $4 million from his partners, Gulf Air and Kuwait Airlines. The ED suspects that the rest of the cash originated in the Gulf, routed through the Isle of Man as Goyal's money,” the Outlook report said.