NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked Qatar Airways for documents related to its foreign transactions being investigated by the agency, people familiar with the matter said

ED has sought information under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (AFP FILE)

ED has sought information from the airline under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, they added. A senior ED official confirmed the request on condition of anonymity but added the probe was at a “very initial stage”.

Qatar Airways didn’t respond to HT’s request for comment but airline officials who asked not to be named confirmed ED has asked it for information. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the issue is linked to alleged tax evasion by Qatar Airways, in which the director general of GST intelligence (DGGI) last month conducted searches at the offices of foreign carriers including Qatar Airways.

The searches were in connection with alleged tax evasion by airlines in the import of services from their head offices to Indian branches. The GST regulations state that a foreign airline’s head office and its Indian branch are treated as separate entities.

A statement issued by the finance ministry on October 18 stated that DGGI has detected GST evasion of 57,000 crore from April 2020 to September 2023 involving over 6,000 fake instances of input tax credit claims leading to the arrest of 500 people.

The development comes weeks after a Qatari court sentenced to death eight former Indian Navy personnel, who were detained on undeclared charges in August 2022.

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