Chapter 6: The merry-go-round

PK’s ambitions to buy Holidaybreak were bankrolled by Axis Bank; thanks to his charming skills. This coupled with the large amount of capital raised by Cox and Kings would bring to the fore the lavish lifestyle splurge of the Kerkars. They splashed out the shareholder money on their favourite projects only to divert the funds for their personal expenses. Here are a few of them:

Tulip Hotels – Despite its failure to take off, Tulip Hotels was initially injected with equity of INR 18 Cr and was later given INR 160 Cr to fund the lifestyle ambitions of Senior Kerkar.

Ezeego – PK and his sister, Urshilla Kerkar (UK), started an online travel company – owned by the promoters and funded by Cox and Kings. The duo doled out favours to their friends by hiring them in the senior management of the online travel company. Despite being a loss-making entity, Ezeego’s employees, or rather its senior management, was paid handsomely. The fact that the company was used to swindle away Cox and Kings’ funds was known to all but none dared speak of it.

The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) – TUTC which offered luxury camping services in Ladakh had only losses to show for itself and was used to divert funds to the tune of INR 275 Cr.

Quoppro – Another loss-making company that was acquired by Cox and Kings. Quoppro was a visa processing company but never managed to achieve profitability.

Tempo Australia – Cox and Kings acquired Tempo – a travel agency in Australia and the lucrative job of running the company was given to PK’s brother in law, Patrick Tully. The business was kept alive for 10 years by diverting funds from Cox and Kings and plunged into bankruptcy soon after Cox and Kings defaulted in India.

Cox and Kings Financial Services (CKFS) – CKFS was rolled out of Cox and Kings in 2018 by obtaining separate NBFC license from the regulators. CKFS is in default to the tune of INR 400 Cr to Yes Bank.

There were more – Rosean Trading Company, Sunshine Awasan, Abeba Traders, Beckhem Trading, WAH Holidays, Newton Travels, Shoppe Till U Drop, etc – were all owned by affiliates or friends of the promoters that leached off the money that Cox and Kings borrowed from the banks. The splurge didn’t end there; jet setting, first-class lifestyle, parties, events – the whole nine yards. The greed took over to start plundering the company for the benefit of the Kerkars and to fund their luxury; while the money poured in from overseas through a network of suspicious entities.

Cox & Kings loaned out Rs 6,071 crore to at least 20 related parties sans board nod

Cox and Kings Dossier – Part 1: Audit uncovers siphoning of crores, fudging of records and bogus sales

Cox and Kings Dossier – Part 2: ‘Conspiracy, fraud’ – Loan diverted to firm run by top executives, including auditor

Cox and Kings Dossier – Part 3: Foreign subsidiaries fudged audit reports, bank records, probe says

Firm linked to Cox & Kings promoter under lens, got loan on security from travel co’s arm

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