The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police arrested Anil Khandelwal, chief finance officer of global tour and travel company Cox and Kings for questioning in connection with massive financial irregularities. The EOW is investigating five FIRs against Cox and Kings group for alleged frauds involving over Rs1,950 crore. Out of these five, complainants in four are private sector banks. Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials are probing the irregularities in the company with respect to the money laundering aspect while EOW is looking into the criminal part.
An EOW officer part of the probe confirmed that on Wednesday evening, Khandelwal’s custody was taken from Taloja jail and he was placed under arrest. He would be produced in court on Thursday.
“Khandelwal is key accused in the case and was at the helm of the affairs,” said an officer. Officials at the Banking (fraud) unit-2 of EOW are investigating the cases registered against Cox and Kings Group, its promotor Ajay Ajit Peter Kerkar, Urshila Kerkar, other directors, senior executives, auditors and others.
Khandelwal and the other accused are facing charges under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) 471 (using as genuine a forged) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code.
EOW officials said that the company, its promotors, directors, auditors and other accused conspired and fraudulently availed loan from various banks. “Forged documents were submitted to banks by Cox and Kings group with an intention to fraudulently obtain loans,” said an officer.
FIRs against Cox and Kings were made by Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd bank, HDFC Bank and a private investment firm.
Another officer said that the EOW may also take the custoday of Peter Kerkar, who was also arrested by ED last month and is in jail.
Peter Kerker too has filed two counter FIRs against some complainant banks and senior executives of his company for conspiring and cheating the company, said EOW officials.