Chapter 7: Hiding in the Havens

Money flew like honey – from lands as far away as Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands. Castleman, a BVI company owned by PK, his wife and his daughters received a credit of ONR 450 Cr from Deutsche Bank on a security of INR 450 Cr bank balance of Cox and Kings Asia Pacific Travel Ltd – a 100 per cent subsidiary of Cox and Kings in Hong Kong.

This loan was not repaid by the Kerkars and the bank forfeited the deposit causing a loss of INR 450 Cr to Cox and Kings. While Indian Express reported this incident on October 18, no action was taken to bring PK to the books of justice. There were some notorious business dealings in Dubai that one got to hear from the office, notably around the loans from Yes Bank. What we do not know is how many such siphoning the promoters may have done.

As per reliable sources, the sum total of Cox and Kings money stolen by the Kerkars amounts to at least 2000 Cr, but one can be sure there is much in the loot by the Kerkars that is yet to be discovered as investigative agencies dig deeper into the scam at CnK.

PK set up family trusts for his wife and two daughters in the British Virgin Islands, namely Coad Investments and Castleman Investments. While he may claim ignorance about this, there is clear evidence that setting up this family trust was part of a well-hatched plan to hide money away from Cox and Kings and from the eyes of the taxman in India and the UK.

PK was simply following the footsteps of his father – Senior Kerkar, who had a for a long time been running a family trust in Guernsey, away from the eyes of Indian regulators. In fact, PK sought and received professional advice on which jurisdiction is better between the British Virgin Islands and Guernsey for opening a family trust to hide his loot.

The more and more the Kerkars portrayed Cox and Kings as a travel company that caters to the aspirations of the growing middle class of India, the more he was looting them by defaulting at the banks.

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