SLC complains to FCID over financial misappropriation

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on the instructions of the Ministry of Sports, filed a complaint today with the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) over an alleged attempt of financial fraud of $5.5 million television rights of the forthcoming England tour.

Present SLC CEO Ashley De Silva has lodged the complaint with the FCID on Monday stating there was an attempt to deposit part of the TV rights money, coming from Sony TV for the said England tour, in a personal account.

This alleged attempt of misappropriation of TV rights money has been reported to SLC by Sony TV officials, it is learnt. Sony TV holds broadcasting rights for the forthcoming high-profile England cricket tour comprising five ODIs, one T20 and three Test matches, to be held from 10 October to 27 November 2018.

When contacted, SLC CEO Ashley De Silva said there was a complaint made with the FCID.

Since last June, administration of national cricket has been under a Competent Authority — Kamal Padmasiri — who was appointed by the Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Faiszer Mustapha.

SLC were to go for polls on 31 May this year to elect members of the Executive Committee but it was halted by a court order when presidential candidate Nishantha Ranatunga challenged the election process and the legitimacy of then President Thilanga Sumathipala’s candidacy on the basis of the latter’s family ties to the gaming industry.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on August 29 extended its deadline for SLC elections by a further nine weeks –until 9 February 2019– after discussions with the Lankan cricket authorities, including Mustapha, at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

Following is the media release issued by SLC on the issue:

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wishes to bring to your notice that SLC 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 Mr. Ashley De Silva lodged a complaint to the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, under the direction of the Minister of Sports Honorable Faiszer Musthapa, this afternoon (10th September; 2018) 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,’’ said CEO of SLC, Mr. Ashley De Silva.

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.