Sports Minister should take full blame for SLC financial fraud | Page 3 | Daily News

Sports Minister should take full blame for SLC financial fraud

It was bound to happen sooner or later the way Sri Lanka Cricket administration was being run without a proper management committee to administer its day to day activities.

Since May when the present administration was set up with the Minister of Sport Faiszer Mustapha appointing his own secretary Kamal Padmasiri as the Competent Authority to oversee Sri Lanka Cricket, cricket administration sad to say has taken a dip for the worst.

The fraudulent attempt to siphon US$ 5.5 million of SLC’s media rights sponsorship from an international media network to an offshore account through bogus means is a result of SLC not having a proper management committee (or interim committee call it whatever you want) in place.

Why the Sports Minister is reluctant to appoint a management committee as required by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to run cricket in Sri Lanka until the elections are held is certainly mysterious unless he has a hidden agenda to protect the previous regime of Thilanga Sumathipala.

The ICC has given February 9 as the deadline for SLC to hold elections.

It is needless to say that once a management committee is in place they are bound to investigate into all the financial dealings that has taken place during the past two years of the previous committee and there are several skeletons in their cupboards.

So instead of carrying out the ICC requirement the Minister is trying to buy time until a framework is set to hold elections. But by doing that he has left room for such transgression to take place which has shaken the corridors of the SLC headquarters.

Sri Lanka Cricket in a media release stated that it was able to successfully avoid a fraudulent attempt to transfer US$ 5.5 million of SLC’s Media Rights Sponsorship funds, which was due from an International Media Network; to an offshore account. The fraudulent act was found, before it was executed through bogus means.

“Immediately; upon finding of the attempted fraud, Sri Lanka Cricket’s CEO Ashley de Silva lodged a complaint to the Financial Crimes Investigation Division; under the direction of Minister of Sports Faiszer Musthapha to probe the attempted fraud.

”Sri Lanka Cricket wish to state here, while accepting that an act of this nature is highly damaging for an organization of international repute such as SLC, we are happy to note that due to the internal due diligence process of the SLC, we were able to avoid the fraud;’’ De Silva was quoted as saying.

“In the meantime, Sri Lanka Cricket under the instructions of the CEO, have decided to launch an audit inquiry into all the financial transactions, conducted during the past one year period.”

In the absence of a proper management committee there are several individuals who can be signatories to money transactions and one of them was the newly appointed head of SLC’s Finance Division who had an enormous clout, but following the detection finds his office sealed by the CID.

When the present SLC administration failed to instigate an inquiry of its own into the ball tampering affair and contravention of the spirit of cricket by the Sri Lanka team members in the Caribbean in May this year, we wrote in these columns that SLC was setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

What has happened now is just a case in point. This is just one instance where the SLC has managed to ‘foil’ an attempt to cheat a sum of Rs. 5.5m due to them as portion of the payment by Sony Television for the upcoming bilateral series between Sri Lanka and England.

Who knows how much of SLC money has been siphoned since May when the present administration was set up by the Sports Minister. The best way to find that out is to get the internal audit and Attorney-General involved and to hold a forensic audit which would clearly identify if there were any such financial misdeeds.


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