ED calls Cox and Kings promoter “mastermind” of siphoning funds

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking the custody of Cox and Kings promoter Peter Kerkar for interrogation, told a special court on Friday that he is the “mastermind” in the siphoning of proceeds of crime and had lodged complaints against his accomplices and now co-accused with the ulterior motive to escape.

The special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was informed by the agency that its probe emanated from a complaint at Nagpada police station which was registered upon a magistrate court’s order on a private complaint by Kerkar himself. In the course of the investigation, the ED learnt that Kerkar himself is the mastermind and has now arraigned him as a co-accused on November 23.

Special Judge Prashant Rajvaidya then remanded Cox and Kings promoter Peter Kerkar in the ED custody for interrogation upto December 3. The court noted in its order that the allegations pertain to siphoning of huge amounts in crores by Kerkar with the co-accused and custodial interrogation may prove helpful to the investigation officer to reach the root of the matter. It also mentioned statements of witnesses and an email in the investigation papers which are prima-facie sufficient to accept the involvement of Kerkar.

Seeking his custody for 10 days, the agency told the court that loans sanctioned from Yes Bank had been diverted by Kerkar in connivance with the co-accused in the case - former Chief Financial Officer at Cox and Kings Anil Khandelwal and the group's internal auditor Naresh Jain. The money had been diverted to a private firm Easygo and thereon to other private firms Redkite and Promytheone as well as been diverted overseas.

The agency told the court further that balance sheets had been manipulated to get more loans from Axis Bank and IndusInd banks as well.

The central agency sought Kerkar’s custody to investigate to whom the funds had been diverted as there are over 30 companies in the Cox and Kings Group.

Kerkar was arrested on Thursday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a loan default and money laundering case connected with Yes Bank. Earlier, the agency had arrested the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anil Khandelwal and internal auditor Naresh Jain, both of whom are in prison.

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