Thilanga faces criminal charges


by Rex Clementine

The International Cricket Council has informed the government of Sri Lanka that evidence has emerged against former cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala that he committed ‘serious criminal offence’.

In a report sent to Sri Lanka following the ongoing investigation into corruption in cricket, ICC has unearthed crucial information that could bring trouble to the senior-most cricket administrator in the world.

A fortnight ago, The Island exclusively reported that Sumathipala had received a bribe from World Tel in 1997. A charge that Sumathipala denied. The Island has seen the confidential letter ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) has sent to the local authorities and the new findings place the former cricket boss on a sticky wicket.

The findings do not relate to the recent laws passed by Parliament to criminalize corruption in sports.

The ACU has drafted the report based on the evidence provided by former Sumathipala confidant Glyn Palmer. Apart from establishing corruption at SLC during Sumathipala’s tenure, it also confirms his direct involvement in the betting industry.

"Some of the allegations made by Glyn Palmer may constitute evidence of serious criminal offenses in Sri Lanka. We request that you review these aspects and consider passing such evidence to the relevant law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka," the report says.

"As well as being an adviser in setting up and growing Sporting Star, Glyn Palmer says he has been a facilitator for hiding and moving illegal payments including relating to TV right deals," the report further adds.

"The Anti Corruption Unit initially contacted Glyn Palmer, a UK national, having identified him as a potential witness in a live investigation. At first he declined to share material with the ACU, but later contacted the ACU alleging he had evidence of corruption in SLC. The information we hold relates to claims and associated documents which concern the betting industry and alleged corruption," details the report.

"Glynn Palmer is a former senior manager in bookmaking business in the UK. For many years, he says he worked for Thilanga Sumathipala as his adviser in setting up Sporting Star in bookmaking business. Palmer, says he stopped working for Sumathipala in 2009 and since then has been paid 1000 British Pounds a month which he says is a pension."

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