Cox and Kings case: Promoter remanded in judicial custody

After seven days in custodial interrogation, Cox and Kings promoter Peter Kerkar was, on Thursday, remanded by a special court in judicial custody.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) did not seek further custody of Kerkar on Thursday. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court stated that it perused the remand application of the ED and, having considered the statements made in it, the accused is remanded in judicial custody till December 17. TD Joshi and Associates appeared for Kerkar.

Kerkar was arrested last week. Seeking his custody for ten days a day after his arrest, the ED had told the court that he is the “mastermind” of the siphoning of funds loaned by Yes Bank and had done so in connivance with his co-accused in the case Chief Financial Officer of Cox and Kings Anil Khandelwal and internal auditor of the group Naresh Jain.

It had then also told the court that Kerkar had lodged complaints against his accomplices and now co-accused among others with the ulterior motive to escape. The ED probe had arisen from a complaint registered at Nagpada police station upon a magistrate court’s order. The order had resulted from a private complaint by Kerkar himself. In the course of the investigation, the ED learned that Kerkar himself is the mastermind, the agency had informed the court.

According to the agency’s case, the travel group had availed loans to the tune of Rs 3,642 crores from Yes Bank and used manipulated finance statements and balance sheets in order to divert the loan amount and siphon it. The sanctioning of the loans was driven by Yes Bank founder and then MD and CEO Rana Kapoor by defying norms. Kapoor is said to have directed bank officials to not make efforts to recover the loans that became outstanding. Kapoor is in prison in another multi-crore fraud case, where he is an accused along with promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL).

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