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WSG claims its Mumbai offices ransacked

Last updated on: July 15, 2010 22:00 IST

The offices of World Sport Group (WSG), the international sports event and player management company, in Mumbai was broken into on Wednesday night.

Interestingly, though the entire office, located on Linking Road at Khar, was ransacked, the unidentified thieves only took away two high-end television sets.

Mumbai Additional Commissioner of Police Amitabh Gupta (western region) confirmed the theft, which, in police lingo, falls under the category of house-breaking.

Based on statements of the premises' common security guard, who noticed two men walking away with the LCD TVs, the office may have been broken into around midnight on Wednesday.

On being questioned by the guard the thieves allegedly said they were taking the TVs for repair. The fact that TV sets were being taken allegedly for repairing at midnight surprisingly did not arouse the suspicion of the security personnel.

The crime was discovered on Thursday morning when employees turned up for work and noticed the main door broken open. The police was immediately informed.

Two 40-inch LCD TVs of Toshiba make, worth Rs 1.20 lakh, mounted in the reception area were the only items stolen. A sundry cash amount of Rs 26,000 in the cabinet drawers that was broken into was left untouched and so were laptops in the offfice.

As there is no closed circuit TV monitoring in the office, the only lead the police has is the the security guards' physical description of the thieves.

"WSG employees arriving for work found the main door broken open and called the police. The police were the first to enter and inspect the premises and are now carrying out an investigation and collecting evidence," WSG said in an e-mail statement on Thursday.

"At this stage, WSG does not know what was taken or left behind. Inside the premises, all the senior executives' rooms have been broken into, as well as locked cupboards and desks. WSG will carry out an audit of what was taken or left behind once the police are done. This is the first time that WSG's offices, which are in a guarded commercial complex, have been broken into," the statement added.

WSG has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately following the Indian Premier League telecast rights' controversy.

Last month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India cancelled all the IPL media rights with WSG faulting the US$ 80 million 'facilitation fee' agreement with suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi.

"Due to the all pervasive fraud that you [WSG, India] have perpetrated on the BCCI, we hereby rescind the subject agreement with immediate effect. All the rights purportedly licensed to you hitherto shall stand vested back with the BCCI and you cannot deal with these rights in any manner. We reserve our rights to initiate both civil and criminal proceedings against you for fraud and wrongful losses at your costs and consequences," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan wrote in a letter to WSG, India.

In its reply, WSG warned the BCCI that it will take appropriate steps to enforce its business agreement.

"We hereby reject in the strongest possible terms, either your rescission or termination of our agreement with you [BCCI] dated March 25, 2009. The contract clearly outlines provisions and a process for termination," said Seamus O' Brien, Chairman and CEP of the WSGM.

N Ganesh in Mumbai