A special PMLA court in Mumbai on Friday remanded Cox & Kings promoter Peter Kerkar, also known as Ajay Ajit Peter, in ED custody till December 3 in a case linked to the alleged loan default at Yes Bank. He was arrested on Thursday under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED probe has shown Yes Bank had total outstanding of Rs 3,642 crore against Cox & Kings Group of Companies (CKG), and Kerkar's role is being investigated with regard to alleged loan defaults with a number of banks, including Yes Bank. ED produced Kerkar before special PMLA Judge P P Rajvaidya on Friday and sought 10-day remand after telling court he was the "mastermind" in siphoning off the proceeds of crime.
The ED told court Kerkar himself lodged complaints against co-accused Anil Khandelwal and Naresh Jain as well as others with the "ulterior motive" to escape, but the probe had revealed that his role was prominent. Khandelwal, a former ex-chief financial officer of Cox & Kings, and Naresh Jain, the firm's internal auditor, were arrested in October in this case.
The ED submitted that funds loaned by Yes Bank to Cox and Kings were diverted by Khandelwal and Jain in connivance with Kerkar to private firm EasyGo and from there to Redkite, Promytheone, and eventually the funds went overseas. The agency alleged balance sheets were manipulated to get more loans from Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank too.
Special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves told court Kerkar was not cooperating and his custodial interrogation was essential for proper investigation. This was opposed by Kerkar's lawyer who said custody was not essential as his client had not not siphoned off any money and had been falsely arrayed as accused on basis of statements given by co-accused.
The court remanded Kerkar in ED custody till December 3 and said his custodial quizzing may help the investigating officer reach to the root of the matter. Cox and Kings is at present undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process.