EOW registers case against travel firm Cox & Kings for cheating bank

Mumbai: In more trouble for travel firm Cox & Kings (CNK), the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police recently registered a case for allegedly cheating Indusind Bank of approximately Rs 284 crore.

The agency has also mentioned Sagar Deshpande, 38, a former account manager with CNK as accused, who was recently found dead near the railway tracks close to Titwala railway station on the Central Railway (CR).

The bank had sanctioned commercial card facility on an unsecured basis to the firm. According to the allegation, CNK has defrauded payment since June last year to the bank, thus causing loss.

The EOW has registered a case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 406, 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 by the Economic Offences Wing which deals with criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery.

The FIR has been registered against ten persons – CNK promoter Ajit Kerkar, Urshila Kerkar, AB Gud, Anil Khandelwal, Abid Khan, Subhash Nautiyal, Sagar Deshpande, Ajit Pimpalkar, Rashmi Jain and Aroop Sen.

When contacted for comment, Kerkar denied all the allegations. “It is indeed surprising that an FIR would be registered against me when I have already registered an FIR against IndusInd for cheating CNK as early as the 3rd of September,” he said. “The bank had falsely claimed that there was no lien on these cash balances and has given our statutory auditor a no dues certificate to attest to this fact. We feel that this was done to dupe credit agencies, the board of directors of Cox and Kings and other lenders into believing that the actual financial health of the company was better than it actually was. This was done as IndusInd has profited by several hundred crores in terms of illegal fees charged to the Cox and Kings group through credit card charges and they were resolute in their desire to perpetuate this income stream,” claimed Kerkar.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) earlier this month arrested Anil Khandelwal, CFO, and Naresh Jain, internal auditor of the group in a money-laundering case linked with their ongoing Yes Bank probe.

An IndusInd Bank spokesperson said, “The bank does not comment on matters that are under investigation. The bank is cooperating and working with all investigating agencies with regard to the ongoing Cox & Kings investigations. The Bank declared the account as fraud on December 30, 2019, and filed a complaint with the appropriate regulatory agencies.”

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