Feb 18, 2021

LPL match fixing claims intensify as Dambulla Viiking owner arrested Featured

Investigations have commenced against Sachiin Joshi, the owner of the Lanka Premier League’s (LPL) franchise - Dambulla Viiking.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India has arrested the owner of Lanka Premier League’s (LPL) franchise Dambulla Vikings owner Sachin Joshi on Monday (15).

The businessman, film actor and producer, is allegedly having connection with a money laundering case against the city-based “Omkar Realtors and Developers”, Indian media reports.

The Indian Income Tax Department had conducted multi-city raids against the Group and those linked to it for almost six days, and the action ended on 13 February. Tax department officials claimed they detected “unaccounted” transactions of about Indian Rs. 1,500 crore (Ind. Rs. 1 crore is approximately SL Rs. 26.9 million) after the investigation.

The ED, meanwhile, has said it wanted to put Sachin Joshi through custodial interrogation in order to probe alleged “diversion” of about Indian Rs. 87 crore, allegedly misappropriated from a slum rehabilitation scheme fund, from the “Omkar Group” to a company linked to him, named “Viking Group”.

“It is established that loans availed from ‘Yes Bank’ has been diverted and the accused (Joshi) has helped promoters of “Omkar Group” in such diversion for an amount of at least Indian Rs. 87 crore,” the ED has claimed while seeking his remand.

“The interrogation of Sachin Joshi may reveal crucial facts which are in his exclusive domain,” ED has added.

There were speculations that some franchise owners of LPL had dubious business records.

Meanwhile, it is not the first time the Dambulla Viiking franchise had come under the limelight for questionable reasons.

The team's spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was questioned by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit over a suspicious 'no-ball' bowled by him during a crucial moment, during the match against the Kandy Tuskers on Nov. 28. Dambulla Viiking reached the semi-finals last December under the captaincy of Dasun Shanaka.

Meanwhile, speaking in Parliament on Feb. 10, sports minister - Namal Rajapaksa said that a governing body would be appointed to regulate the LPL tournament from this year onwards.

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