Babudam strikes where diplomats fail: Qatar Airways faces investigation amid Navy veterans row

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Qatar Airways flight

New Delhi: In a complex interplay of geopolitics and financial intrigue, Qatar Airways is currently under the spotlight, facing an extensive investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).


The ED is scrutinizing the airline for its alleged evasion of a substantial 5700 Crore rupees worth of Goods and Services Tax (GST), an issue that could potentially reverberate throughout India's diplomatic relations, particularly with Qatar, a vital supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Qatar Airways: Navigating a Financial Storm 

The ED's investigation into Qatar Airways' alleged tax evasion has sent shockwaves through the aviation industry. While the airline has not yet issued an official statement, sources confirm that investigative measures have extended to several of the airline's Middle Eastern offices. This inquiry reflects broader concerns about financial irregularities affecting the aviation sector, raising questions about the potential consequences for Qatar Airways and the wider aviation industry.


India's relationship with Qatar is a nuanced one, underpinned by mutual trade interests. The investigation into Qatar Airways coincides with India's ongoing discussions with countries like Australia to secure LNG supplies. This diplomatic manoeuvre involves the delicate task of holding an airline accountable, hailing from a nation crucial to India's trade, while also seeking to diversify its sources of gas imports.

Moreover, India finds itself engaged in diplomatic negotiations with Qatar, urging the prompt repatriation of its former naval officers. This two-pronged approach underscores the intricate nature of international relations and the careful equilibrium nations must maintain while pursuing their interests.

Eight Indian former naval officers who were working for a private firm in Qatar were handed the death penalty allegedly on a spying case by a court in Qatar last week. They have been under arrest since August 2022.


The men, including decorated officers who once commanded major Indian warships, were working for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services, a private firm that provided training and related services to Qatar's armed forces.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar today met the families of eight former Indian Navy personnel who have been sentenced to death in Qatar.  

Jaishankar said India will "continue to make all efforts. He stressed that the government attaches the highest importance to the case. 

“Fully share the concerns and pain of the families. Underlined that the Government will continue to make all efforts to secure their release. Will coordinate closely with the families in that regard," he said on X - formerly known as Twitter.