Cox & Kings Owner’s Associate Arrested in Connection with Rs 400-Crore Yes Bank Fraud

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police has made a significant breakthrough in the investigation of a massive Rs 400-crore fraud involving Yes Bank, with the arrest of a close associate linked to Ajay Peter Kerkar, owner of the renowned global tour and travels company Cox & Kings. 

Ajit P Menon, a 67-year-old British national, had been evading authorities for three years until his capture at Cochin International Airport on April 9, upon his arrival from the United Kingdom. The arrest, facilitated by a Look Out Circular (LoC), sheds light on alleged irregularities surrounding Menon’s appointment as managing director of Cox & Kings, which reportedly lacked proper documentation.

Cox & Kings Financial Services Ltd, known for its diverse range of financial offerings including foreign exchange services, holiday financing, and student loans, is at the center of the controversy. An FIR filed against the company reveals a pattern of falsified financial transactions during 2018-2019, aimed at portraying a robust financial standing to secure a substantial loan from Yes Bank. However, investigations indicate that a significant portion of the loan was diverted to Cox & Kings Ltd for undisclosed purposes, resulting in substantial losses to Yes Bank.

Key executives of Cox & Kings, including Milind Gandhi, Ravi Menon, and Shailesh Pednekar, have provided statements under CrPC section 164 implicating Menon in the fraudulent activities. Furthermore, transactions allegedly overseen by Menon involving foreign companies affiliated with Cox & Kings, raise suspicions regarding the misuse of loan funds. The investigation aims to uncover the extent of these irregularities and trace the flow of diverted funds.

Ajit P Menon now faces a barrage of charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and criminal conspiracy. Meanwhile, Ajay Peter Kerkar, along with other senior executives of Cox & Kings, continues to grapple with legal repercussions stemming from multiple bank fraud cases. Their arrests and subsequent chargesheeting by both EOW and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) mark a significant development in the ongoing crackdown on financial malpractices.