The Economic Offences Cell of Goa Police yesterday arrested three senior officials of GCA (Goa Cricket Association) for alleged financial fraud to the tune of over rupees 3 crores. The arrested officials include the GCA president Chetan Desai, Secretary Vinod Phadke, and Treasurer Akbar Mulla. According to the sources, the trio was evading the arrest for quite some time due to the lack of evidence which is finally has been established by the EOC. Read the complete report here.
According to the news published by the national news agency PTI, the police spokesperson told the media that Goa Cricket Association’s President Chetan Desai along with Secretary Vinod Phadke and Treasurer Akbar Mulla were arrested on Wednesday evening and have been sent for the medical examination. “The trio has been arrested on charges of cheating, impersonation, forging documents and criminal conspiracy,” the spokesperson said.
According to the sources, the action was initiated against the trio based on a complaint lodged by GCA life member Vilas Desai last month. In the complaint, it was mentioned that Chetan Desai, Phadke, and Mulla were involved into the alleged forgery of signatures to withdraw the money from GCA accounts and opening the new bank accounts to siphon the funds. According to the sources, this fraud took place in the year 2006 when the money of TV rights received by GCA from Indian Cricket Association Board in October 2006.
In the police complaint, it is mentioned that the forged accounts were opened by the trio between 2006 and 2008 when the trio was holding the official positions in GCA. The GCA was then headed by Dayanand Narvekar, while Desai was its secretary and Phadke was its treasurer.
According to the insider source in GCA, in the month of April 2007, a bank account had been opened by “impersonating and posing” Phadke as president, Desai as secretary and Mulla as treasurer. The account was closed in March 2008 after removing the entire amount (Rs 2.87 crore) by cash or bearer cheques.
“The above noted accused persons who were the members and signatory authority for Goa Cricket Association hatched a criminal conspiracy by impersonating and posing as President, Secretary and Treasurer of Goa Cricket Association and further prepared forged, fake documents and resolution of Goa Cricket Association and submitted the same to Development Credit Bank, Panaji Branch, for opening an account at Development Credit Bank in the name of Goa Cricket Association and thereby misappropriated the funds of TV subsidy sent by Board of Control for Cricket in India to Goa Cricket Association, thereby cheating Goa Cricket Association to the tune of Rs 2.87 Crores,” revealed in the complaint.
The complaint further states that, “They also withdrew Rs 26 Lakhs from Federal Bank of Goa Cricket Association (account) on the non-existing person’s name on the pretext of giving the money to a company namely HAKO enterprise, which was never given and thereby cheated Goa Cricket Association to the total tune of Rs 3.13 Crores.”
The accused were so smart that they opened the forged account in the bank in the month of April 2007 in which they deposited the cheque of TV rights amounting to Rs. 2.87 crore and the same was closed in March 2008 due to which the transactions do (sic) not reflect in the balance sheet of that financial year.
The complaint report also mentioned the alleged BCCI inaction. “That a life member of GCA, Shri Hemant Angle, had a complaint (sic) about this fraud to the BCCI but no action was taken by BCCI even to investigate in (sic) the matter. This shows that how BCCI has supported the Committee members in such above mentioned fraud. Without the strong support of BCCI, the mother body of GCA, the office-bearers would not have dared to do such act of cheating,” it claimed.
The cricket board under its present dispensation, however, has launched a clean-up drive following the Lodha Committee whiplash. When asked about the latest turn of events at the GCA, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said: “Let the law take its own course. We will ensure cricket and cricketers’ interest is looked after by the BCCI. For us, cricket and cricketers are important, and the BCCI will take all necessary steps to see nothing happens to them.” The GCA also defaulted on service tax for over five years as the dues mounted to Rs 19 crore. The BCCI has decided to act. “We will appoint a committee to look into the day-to-day functioning of the GCA. The BCCI will not suspend the GCA as the matter is under the law,” a Board official said.