The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday arrested Anil Khandelwal, the chief financial officer of the travel company Cox & Kings in connection with the Yes Bank scam. the probe agency has also arrested the company’s internal auditor Naresh Jain.
The two have been arrested under section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Cox & Kings came under the ED scanner during a probe into the fraud loans issued by Yes Bank. During the investigation, the ED found that Cox & Kings used ‘fictitious customers’ to launder thousands of crores it borrowed from Rana Kapoor’s bank.
An amount of Rs 3,642 crore is outstanding against Cox & Kings Group in debt-ridden Yes Bank. It includes Rs 563 crore loan in the name of Cox & Kings Ltd (CKL), India; Rs 1,012 crore in the name of Ezeego One Travel & Tours Ltd (EOTTL), India; Rs 422 crore in the name of Cox & Kings Financial Services Ltd (CKFSL), India; Rs 1152 crore in the name of Prometheon Enterprise Limited, UK and Rs 493 crore in the name of Malvern Travel Ltd, UK.
According to the ED, during investigation in the Yes Bank case, irregularities were noticed in relation to the loan sanctioned to Cox & Kings Group. “Group had created multiple layers of onshore and offshore subsidiary across the globe through which the monies were siphoned off. Malvern Travel Limited, UK submitted the forged bank statement of RBS Bank, UK, State Bank of India, UK and forged end used certificates of a UK-based statuary auditor to avail the loan of Rs 422 crore from Yes Bank,” said the ED.
In June, the ED claimed the firm was found to be involved in the falsification of accounts, overstating the sales figures and understating the debt figures and fictitious transactions.
The agency also found that from 2015 to 2019 sales of Rs 3,908 crore was made to 15 non-existent and fictitious customers. “The majority of the collection shown in ledgers from Ezeego was not found in the bank statements. Another 147 sets of customers are also suspicious and non-existent, as per the audit report of Pricewaterhouse Coopers. As per the report, Anil Khandelwal, CFO of CKL diverted Rs 1100 crore to Alok Industries Ltd without any approval of the board,” said an ED official.
In another incident, the probe agency claimed that Cox & Kings sold Holiday Break Education Limited, UK (HBEL), a subsidiary of their firm, for Rs 4,387 crores and instead of discharging the liability of the bank, they siphoned off the majority of the money. “From this siphoning, USD 15.34 million was transferred to Kuber Investment Mauritius Pvt Ltd which was controlled by Peter Kerker,” added the ED official.
Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor is under probe for sanctioning loans to dubious companies for personal benefit. The financial probe agency had registered a money laundering case against Rana Kapoor and others on March 7, 2020. He was arrested a day later and is in judicial custody.