FinCEN Files: Bank reported fraud, UK link of an IPL team sponsor
In 2013, KPH Dream Cricket, which runs Kings XI Punjab, went to court against team sponsor NVD Solar International Ltd for "cheating and duping" them of $3 million in sponsorship fee. The SAR, filed by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, offers a clue to what went wrong.
The Indian Premier League, with its showpiece auctions and big-ticket sponsors, has surfaced on the US financial regulator's radar too -- in a web of transactions that involve a leading US bank, a little-known UK company, a Kolkata-based sponsor of an IPL team, and allegations of fraud and forgery.
These are the central elements of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filed with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), according to records investigated by The Indian Express.In 2013, KPH Dream Cricket, which runs Kings XI Punjab, went to court against team sponsor NVD Solar International Ltd for "cheating and duping" them of $3 million in sponsorship fee. The SAR, filed by San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank, offers a clue to what went wrong.
In 2013, the bank had received "a $2,975,460 SBLC (Standby Letter of Credit) from Deutsche Bank AG in London" with KPH Dream Cricket as the beneficiary. The SBLC for nearly $3 million was sought by Aerocom UK Ltd, an air tubes manufacturer, with no apparent links to the team or the sponsor.
The SBLC said that "in case of failure of the obligator, NVD Solar International Ltd of Dhaka, Bangladesh, was to pay the amount due as per the terms of the contract".
However, according to the SAR filed by Wells Fargo, the SBLC turned out to be "fraudulent" and was "declined".
According to a PTI report in October 2013, KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia had alleged that the team received only Rs 42 lakh from the sponsorship deal for Rs 14.3 crore and that NVD Solar gave "fake accounts of Deutsche Bank London, Wells Fargo Bank New York, Common Suisse Bank Limited, fake Swift message, fake names of officials, even sent us mails from fake IP addresses".
When contacted, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said: "Wells Fargo has robust anti-money laundering policies and procedures in place, and we follow all applicable financial crimes-related laws and regulations. We are unable to provide any further comment."