Holding expresses concern over findings of leaked CWI audit

By May 15, 2020

In this story that was initially published on Friday, May 15, 2020, the writer inadvertently attributed comments from the Dominica Cricket Association in relation to funds earmarked for the Dominica Cricket Academy to Mr Tony Astaphan. Those comments were actually made by Glen Joseph President of the DCA. Sportsmax.TV sincerely apologizes for the error and any harm that may have been caused to Mr Astaphan. 

 

 

 

Did Cricket West Indies (CWI) run the risk of being involved in money laundering when it acted as a conduit for more than US$100,000 intended for the development of cricket in Dominica in 2018?

That and more are questions being asked by auditors and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, who spoke out on the issue which was among several red flags raised by auditors in a recent report on the operations of the CWI.

According to Holding’s reading of the audit, that CWI has reportedly classified as ‘confidential’, but which the fast bowler characterized as damning and harsh, in 2018, the CWI received funds of US$134,200 from a sponsor on or about August 8, 2018, on behalf of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA).

The money was received from a third party, which appeared to be an offshore corporation, Holding explained.

The auditors, Holding said, wrote that it was unclear why the funds did not go directly to the DCA.

However, the auditors, according to Holding, said the money was paid over to the DCA in three tranches; US$104,100 on November 16, 2018; US$15,700 on August 15, 2019, and US$14,400 on September 21, 2019. “In this particular situation, CWI was the financial conduit,” the auditors are quoted by Holding as adding.

The situation has created some underlying concerns.

“What due diligence was performed to ensure that the source of the funds was legitimate and that the funds were clean from an anti-money laundering compliance perspective,” Holding read.

According to Holding, the auditors also wanted to know what measures were taken to minimize the risk CWI may have been involved in money laundering, noting that they were unable to find an executed agreement for the transaction.

The funds were supposed to be specifically earmarked for cricket development in Dominica. However, there was no evidence CWI obtained confirmation from the DCA that the funds were used as directed.

Holding, while speaking with host Asif Khan on ‘Michael Holding Nothing Back’, also wanted to know whether any directors of the CWI board were involved in the transaction.

The former fast bowler turned commentator was the one who brought the matter to light while speaking with Khan, revealing that he had received a copy of the auditors’ report in his email and thought the Caribbean people would be interested in hearing its contents.

He also wanted to know what process was implemented by the CWI in authorizing the transaction.

However,  Glen Joseph President for the DCA told Andrew Mason, host of the popular Mason and Guest on Friday, that he was surprised by Holding’s comments.

He said he was aware that CWI had received the money and kept it for a long period of time.

Joseph explained the CWI held onto the funds because they were having cash-flow issues and had to use the money for some operations.

“This resulted in our academy having to struggle because we had no money to run the academy so realising the fact that we needed our funds, I made a demand for these funds and I am aware that it was sent. All money that was sent was received and it was solely used for cricket development purposes,” Joseph said.

“Recently, Mr Wilbur Harrigan, who is principal of PKF, (a Dominican firm of auditors and consultants) visited during the time when CWI came to visit in connection with the upcoming game against New Zealand and asked questions on the transaction.

“We explained to him that we received the money, what the money was spent for and shortly after we were able to send him documents on the spending of the funds. There are documents to prove that these funds were used for cricket development purposes. That I can confirm for anybody.”

Joseph said anyone who wishes to get information on the issue can contact the DCA.

“We are very transparent in what we do. I try my best to ensure that we give an account for every dollar received and every dollar spent.”

However, questions remain unanswered with regards to this issue and others raised in the report Holding read, which suggest the auditors were expressing grave concern.

“We have become aware of several matters that cause consternation with respect to whether things were done in the best interest of Cricket West Indies,” Holding quoted the auditors saying.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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