May 25, 2019 / 6:21 PM / 25 days ago

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and wife stopped from leaving India - airport official

(Reuters) - Indian carrier Jet Airways (India) Ltd founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were stopped from leaving India on Saturday at Mumbai airport, according to an airport official who asked not to be named.

Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways speaks during a news conference in Mumbai, November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

The couple were taken into custody by immigration officers, the Indian Express reported, citing sources.

The airport official did not confirm that the couple had been detained.

It was not immediately clear why the couple had been prevented from traveling, or whether it was related to reported regulatory probes into the airline.

It was not immediately possible to reach either the Goyals or Jet for comment late Saturday.

Local media said the Goyals had been traveling to Dubai for a connecting flight to London.

Local media, citing sources, reported earlier this month that the ministry of corporate affairs had been looking into Jet’s books and had asked for a corporate fraud investigation into the airline, suspecting that its promoters siphoned off funds.

Jet said at the time that it had complied with all regulations. The Goyals did not comment on the reports at the time.

Once one of India’s largest carriers, Jet was forced to ground all flights last month after running out of money and failing to secure funds, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals.

The carrier is saddled with some $1.2 billion in bank debt, and Goyal and his wife stepped down from the airline’s board in March amid the crisis.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath, Rajendra Jadhav, and Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Frances Kerry

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