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Ex-finance manager absconds with Asia Tour funds: report

April 07, 2011 10:10 IST

Police in Malaysia are hunting golf's Asian Tour's former finance and human resources manager after he defrauded the organisation of a large sum of money and disappeared.

Asia Tour chief Kyi Hla Han confirmed former employee Adrian Lee had embezzled company funds and been reported to police.

"Adrian Lee was discovered to have misappropriated company funds from the Asian Tour following internal checks and all attempts to contact Adrian have been unsuccessful," Han said in comments published by South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, on Thursday.

"We have made a police report and are providing them with assistance. Although this matter is regrettable, it has no impact on the day-to-day running of the Asian Tour."

A tour spokesperson was uncertain of how much Lee had taken.

"Investigations are going on, but we believe the figure to be way below US$1 million," said media director Chuah Choo Chiang. "I hope it is not a million dollars."

Lee had been dismissed a few weeks ago, the paper said, citing unnamed Tour officials. It was unclear why they had held off disclosing Lee's embezzlement.

"I heard he was sacked last year after it was discovered that he had pocketed a lot of cash, but the Asian Tour was hopeful of doing a deal with him to repay it. But now he has disappeared," the paper quoted an unnamed senior player as saying.

Han said steps were being taken to tighten oversight of the body's finances.

"All accounting procedures have been reviewed," he said. "These have been stringently monitored internally and by the auditors."

The embarrassing revelation comes as the Asia Tour battles to maintain its influence and credibility in the continent amid the rise of the rival Australia, South Korea and China-backed OneAsia Tour.

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