Cox & Kings promoter Peter Kerkar was on Thursday arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to the alleged loan default at Yes Bank, officials said. Kerkar alias Ajay Ajit Peter was arrested in Mumbai under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will be produced before a court there on Friday.
The case relates to ED's money laundering probe in which the central probe agency had said that Yes Bank had a total outstanding of Rs 3,642 crore against Cox & Kings Group of Companies (CKG). The role of Kerkar is under probe with regard to alleged loan defaults with a number of banks including the Yes Bank, official sources said.
The agency had raided a number of former executives of the beleaguered tours and travel services firm along with Kerkar in June as part of multiple searches conducted by it in Mumbai. It has also arrested its ex-chief financial officer Anil Khandelwal and internal auditor Naresh Jain in October in this case.
The company at present is undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process.
The ED had alleged Khandelwal and Jain had ‘purchased various immovable properties from the funds diverted from Cox & Kings Group (CKG)’. “CKG forged its consolidated financials by manipulating the balance sheets of overseas subsidiaries. In addition, some board resolutions submitted to banks for sanctioning the loans were also found to be forged," the ED had claimed.
Probe revealed that the loan sanction from Yes bank was driven by the then CMD Rana Kapoor and was given "bypassing" the norms, it said. "ED gathered the evidences regarding clear instruction of Rana Kapoor to the bank officials concerned to get the said loan continued and not to take efforts to recover it," it alleged.
"During financial year 2015-2019, sales of Rs 3,908 crore was made to 15 non-existent/fictitious customers," the ED had said after it arrested the two.
It had said Cox & King Limited "diverted Rs 1,100 crore to another stressed company without any approval of board which has no business relationship with the company."
Yes Bank co-promoter Rana Kapoor and and DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan were arrested in this case by the ED early this year. It had booked Kapoor, his family members and others under the PMLA after studying a CBI FIR that alleged that dubious multi-crore loans were given by Yes Bank to various entities in contravention of the law and in lieu of purported kickbacks given to the Kapoor family.